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Miss Spelman to Host IG Live Conversation With Spelman Alumna Namina, Author of "The Gilded Ones"

March 2021

Spelman Alumna Namina Forna Pens BestsellerNamina Forna, C'2009, is a young adult novelist and the Indie and New York Times bestselling author of "The Gilded Ones." Forna was born in Sierra Leone, West Africa, where her father and grandmother raised her on fantastic stories of Africa’s epic past. She moved to America when she was nine, and settled just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, where she was valedictorian of Martin Luther King, Jr. High School. For undergrad, she attended Spelman College as a Presidential Scholar and graduated with a BA in English Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

Forna then continued to the MFA film production program at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, where she graduated with honors. In 2018, Forna sold her first novel, "The Gilded Ones," for a significant six-figure deal, and then swiftly sold movie rights with herself attached as screenwriter and Misha Green (Underground, Lovecraft Country) attached to produce. She is the first Sierra Leonean to have a major young adult book deal, and the first to have a major film deal. She is also the first Black person published by British publisher, Usborne Books.

Forna currently divides her time between Los Angeles, Georgia, and Sierra Leone. She loves building fantastical worlds and telling stories with fierce female leads. "The Gilded Ones" is the first in a feminist fantasy trilogy and is currently being published in thirteen different countries.

Morgan StatenA DON'T MISS IT EVENT: Celebrate International Women's Month and Join "The Gilded Ones" Conversation on Instagram Live

Morgan Staten, C'2021, Miss Spelman, will host an Instagram Live conversation with Namina Forna, on Monday, March 8, at 7 p.m. EST.


About "The Gilded Ones" From the Publisher

In Forna's "The Gilded Ones," which she began writing at Spelman, sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs. But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire's greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she's ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

The Gilded Ones by Spelman Alumna Namina Forna

Forna's Fans Rave About "The Gilded Ones"

“Fans of "Children of Blood and Bone," "Mulan," and the Dora Milaje from "Black Panther" are going to adore this one.” –BuzzFeed


"A dark feminist tale spun with blood and gold. Must read!" –Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestsellingauthor of "The Belles"

“Namina Forna Could Be The Toni Morrison Of YA Fantasy.” –Refinery 29

The most anticipated fantasy of 2021. In this world, girls are outcasts by blood and warriors by choice. Get ready for battle.

Read Forna's Story in Elle Magazine

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