Announcing Questlove’s New AUWA Books Imprint at MCD/FSG

MCD, an imprint of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, announces the launch of AUWA Books, an imprint directed by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, the celebrated Academy Award‒winning filmmaker, musician, DJ, producer, director, culinary entrepreneur, and New York Times bestselling author. 

As an artist and enthusiast, a historian and curator, Questlove has spent decades both contributing to culture and exploring its rich and complex history. AUWA Books seeks to connect the two. The imprint will publish both nonfiction and fiction on a wide range of topics. Questlove’s interests are rooted in music and its history, of course, but the tree’s branches expand outward from there to cover nearly every topic under the sun. 

A literary imprint devoted to finding inspiring new stories and connecting readers to lost voices, AUWA Books’ name is inspired by the bird-call noise that was popularized by Prince (you can hear it in songs such as "Baby I’m a Star" and "Eye No"). Questlove has always felt a deep kinship with Prince, not just musically but personally, and in that spirit the imprint seeks to strengthen the connection between creators and audience. AUWA is more than just a sound. It is the call going out and the call being answered, a community being identified and nourished. Every book must find its audience, but every publisher must help audiences find their way to books that matter to them. 

Mitzi Angel, President and Publisher of FSG, says: "We are embarking on this new imprint with Questlove with great excitement. Questlove’s vision and many talents will add tremendously to our list, and we can’t wait to publish our first book on the AUWA imprint with Questlove this fall, Sly Stone’s much-anticipated memoir, Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)". 

Sean McDonald, SVP and Publisher of MCD, says: "I am thrilled MCD is embarking on this imprint with Questlove and the AUWA team. There is no better, more exciting, more mind-expanding intelligence to guide a new publishing venture that can push the boundaries of what we might think to expect from a literary imprint, and I think the roster we've begun to assemble for AUWA, starting with the memoir of the elusive, iconic Sly Stone this October—already shows how thrilling this is going to be".

"I have been writing books for over a decade", says Questlove, "so it seemed like a natural step to publish them too. I’m very excited about AUWA Books, from the books we have lined up to the books we haven’t discovered yet. Let’s take it to the page".

AUWA Books will publish its first book on October 17, 2023: Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) by the legendary Sly Stone. One of the few indisputable geniuses of pop music, Sly Stone is a trailblazer who created a new kind of music, mixing Black and white, male and female, funk and rock; penned some of the most iconic anthems of the 1960s and ’70s, from "Everyday People" to "Family Affair", and electrified audiences with a persona and stage presence that set a lasting standard for pop culture performance. Yet he has also been a cautionary tale, known as much for how he dropped out of sight as for what put him in the spotlight in the first place. As much as people know the music, the man remains a mystery. In Thank You, he’s finally ready to share his story, a story that many thought he’d never have the chance to tell. Written with Ben Greenman, who has written memoirs with George Clinton and Brian Wilson, among others, Thank You will include a foreword by Questlove. The book was created in collaboration with Sly Stone’s manager Arlene Hirschkowitz. 

"For as long as I can remember folks have been asking me to tell my story", says Stone. "I wasn't ready. I had to be in a new frame of mind to become Sylvester Stewart again to tell the true story of Sly Stone. It's been a wild ride and hopefully my fans enjoy it too". 

In addition to Sly Stone’s much-anticipated memoir, other books to be published by AUWA Books in the coming years include Questlove’s own Hip-Hop Is History, a seminal new book about hip-hop’s first 50 years co-written with Ben Greenman (2024); the fierce, inspiring first book from TikTok and podcasting superstar Drew Afualo (2024); Josh Luber’s Building the Hype Economy (2025), a work focused on the intersection of culture and commerce and the business of collecting from the co-founder of StockX and Fanatics Collectibles; and the urgent Handbook for the Revolution: The Essential Guide for Workplace Organizing (2025) by the Vice President and co-founder of the Amazon Labor Union, Derrick Palmer.

AUWA Books, a division of AUWA Content, is led by Questlove as Publisher and Editor in Chief and Alexis Rosenzweig as SVP and Editorial Director, along with Executive Editors Malaika Adero and Ben Greenman. 




source: The Oriel Company
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