In celebration of the newly illustrated version of Malorie Blackman’s YA classic Noughts & Crosses, the book’s illustrator Kingsley Nebechi will talk about how he created the artwork for this special edition.

Noughts & Crosses
Noughts & Crosses artwork by Kingsley Nebechi: credit The Folio Society

Journalist and broadcaster Brenda Emmanus will be hosting the virtual event on 15 April where she’ll be asking acclaimed illustrator Kingsley Nebechi how he created the artwork for this edition of the iconic YA fiction novel, which is published by The Folio Society.

The new 376-page special edition of the book has the seal of approval from the author of Noughts & Crosses, Malorie Blackman, herself.

In an exclusive interview organised by Folio Society, Blackman said: “You did an incredible job. I thought the way you did your illustrations was so clever, because there’s illustrations within illustrations, and you’ve got to look at them, and then you’ve got to look at them deeper. It was so clever. So, thank you!”

“…thank you for inspiring me and allowing me to draw more Black and Brown people, because it’s my favourite thing to do.”

Kingsley also commented: “I really appreciated the story. And thank you for inspiring me and allowing me to draw more Black and Brown people, because it’s my favourite thing to do.”

 

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Having previously worked with the likes of Akala, Lauryn Hill and Stormzy, who starred in the TV series adaption of the novel, Nebechi brings a new dimension to the Malorie Blackman classic, reimagining the fictional world of Albion, 20 years after its original release.

Thought-provoking and compelling, Noughts & Crosses continuously finds new fans of its storyline of a timeless premise of forbidden love set in Albion, a segregated society where light-skinned noughts are suppressed by the ruling Black Crosses.

When Sephy, the Cross daughter of a government official falls in love with her nought housekeeper’s son, Callum, the power of love and the optimism of youth are put to the test.

“It is a real honour to present this beautiful version of a literary classic to audiences who have a longstanding relationship with the story.”

The Folio Society, a London-based publishing house has partnered with marcomms, PR and talent management agency, TGRG, and their new literary agency, SixByNines&Co. to produce the event.

Of the event, TGRG Managing Director, Juanita Rosenior, said: “We couldn’t think of a better partner or book to officially launch SixByNines&Co. Noughts & Crosses is such a beloved and iconic piece of art by one of the UK’s most prolific and favoured Black female writers. It is a real honour to present this beautiful version of a literary classic to audiences who have a longstanding relationship with the story and to new audiences too.”

Joanna Reynolds, CEO of The Folio Society says: “Noughts & Crosses was one of my children’s favourite books. It is a book I wanted us to publish. Our edition looks great – the introduction by Benjamin Zephaniah and the art by Kingsley Nebechi create a wonderful whole. Folio is very proud to publish this exceptional book.”


Noughts & Crosses: A conversation with Kingsley Nebechi takes place on Thursday 15 April from 6.30pm -7.30pm. Buy your tickets here.

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