Woman of the Day: Best-Selling Author Ayana Gray Is Bringing African Mythology to a Worldwide Audience

Image: courtesy of Deanna Smith

Ayana Gray’s hit debut novel, Beasts of Preymade serious waves in the literary community. Not only is the New York Times bestselling book being translated in 10 languages across five continents, it’s also being developed for a feature film by Netflix, a major accomplishment for an emerging novelist. 

Beasts of Prey, published in September 2021, is the first release in Gray’s fantasy trilogy series inspired by her fascination with African mythology, which she developed while studying African and African-American studies at the University of Arkansas. Gray translated her interest into a riveting page-turner that features all Black characters. The book is centered around two teenagers who discover the immense power they possess while on a dangerous quest filled with unexpected plot twists, romance, bravery and action. It’s no wonder Gray has garnered so many fans worldwide, including Steph Curry who highlighted Beasts of Prey as one of his favorite reads in his Literati Book Club.

In a recent appearance on the Tamron Hall Show, Gray describes the overwhelming response to the book as “surreal”. After being rejected by multiple publishing houses who were not receptive to the idea of diverse storytelling in the YA genre, she describes having to dig deep and “believe in myself, these characters, and this story so much that I wasn’t going to give up until readers got to meet them.”

Beasts of Ruin, the follow-up to Gray’s hit debut, Beasts of Prey, will be available for purchase on July 26th. You can pre-order the book at amazon.com

Newsletter

Sign up for the EBONY Newsletter

By subscribing, you agree to share your email address with EBONY to receive our weekly emails, events, and other updates. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

By subscribing, you agree to share your email address with EBONY to receive our weekly emails, events, and other updates. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

Newsletter

Sign up for the EBONY Newsletter

When you sign up for the EBONY newsletter, you’ll be the first to know about all the latest news and updates that are important to you. Gain access to exclusive interviews, videos, special events, and product giveaways delivered right to your inbox!

By subscribing, you agree to share your email address with EBONY to receive our weekly emails, events, and other updates. Please see our privacy policy for more information.