NEW YORK — Prize-winning fiction writer Deesha Philyaw, who struggled to find a publisher for what became her acclaimed debut “The Secret Lives of Church Ladies,” has a 7-figure deal for her next two books.
Mariner Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, announced Thursday that it had signed up Philyaw and will publish her novel “The True Confessions of First Lady Freeman” in 2025. Mariner calls the book a “biting satire” of the Black church and “a deeply provocative” story about family, friendship and “sexual agency.” Philyaw, who attended several different churches as a child, is centering the novel around a megachurch leader.
“In writing True Confessions, I really wanted to explore the narratives that 40- and 50-something Black women sometimes tell ourselves – as well as the narratives told about us – regarding our desires and aspirations,” Philyaw said in a statement.
Her second book for Mariner, “Girl, Look,” is billed by the publisher as a “poignant new collection, giving a vivid snapshot of the interior lives of Black women across generations.”