Meet and Greet With Ayanna Gray at Union Followed by Lecture at Gearhart Hall

What happens when you mix monsters, mythos and #MelaninMagic? You get the debut novel, Beasts of Prey, from Ayanna Gray, a U of A Honors College alumna and author who will be on campus today.

Two Events – Meet-up and Lecture Wednesday
Join fellow students for an incredible opportunity to engage with Gray at a meet-and-greet sponsored by the Multicultural Center at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 27, in Arkansas Union 403. This will be an opportunity to get your copy of her book signed, and we will give away 25 books to the first 25 people in attendance!

The public lecture will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27, in the Gearhart Hall Auditorium, with a reception to follow in the Honors Student Lounge (GEAR 130). Copies of Beasts of Prey will be for sale before and after the lecture. Parking will be available in the Harmon Street Parking Garage. The lecture will also be offered online via Zoom. Please fill out this online interest form to gain access to the lecture.

A Rising Star in Literature
Gray is a rising star in the literary world. Her debut novel, Beasts of Prey, the first in a pan-African-inspired fantasy trilogy, follows two Black teenagers who strike a deal to enter a magical jungle and take down the monster that's been menacing their city for close to a century. Gray, who graduated from the U of A in 2015 with honors degrees in both political science and African and African American studies, will discuss Beasts of Prey during her campus visit.

Beasts of Prey was acquired by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin, in a seven-figure deal. It was published in the U.S. on Sept. 28 this year. It will also be published internationally across five continents and 16 countries and is being developed by Netflix as a feature film, with Melody Cooper adapting the screenplay. "When I started writing Beasts of Prey, I never could've imagined that Netflix would be interested in adapting it into a feature film," Gray said. "To get to partner with them, Melody and the team at Clubhouse Pictures to bring my book to life is a dream come true." Beasts of Prey is a School Library Journal Gold Standard Selection and received three starred reviews ahead of publication from Kirkus Reviews, Booklist and School Library Journal, designating it as a title of note and accomplishment.

Here is a recent interview she did with Good Morning America.

For more information, please contact Adrain Smith at atsmith@uark.edu

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