After Writing a New Chapter for Georgia, Stacey Abrams Is Publishing a New Legal Thriller

Maiysha Kai
·2 min read
Stacey Abrams speaks onstage during The Hollywood Reporter’s Power 100 Women in Entertainment on December 11, 2019 in Hollywood, Calif.
Stacey Abrams speaks onstage during The Hollywood Reporter’s Power 100 Women in Entertainment on December 11, 2019 in Hollywood, Calif.

One of the most fun facts about Stacey Abrams, the attorney, political powerhouse, voting rights activist and former (and possibly future) gubernatorial candidate in Georgia, is that she’s also a prolific author. In fact, over the past two decades, she’s quietly written eight popular romance novels under the pseudonym “Selena Montgomery” in addition to her nonfiction bestsellers Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change (2018) and Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America (2020).

Now, after a triumphant (if belated) victory in Georgia as she led the flipping of the state in favor of the Democratic party not once, but twice in approximately as many months, Abrams is once again proving pen as mighty as her political influence. This May will mark the first time she’ll be publishing fiction under her given name with the debut of While Justice Sleeps: A Novel. Revealing the cover on Monday morning, Entertainment Weekly described the new novel as “a breakneck legal thriller” and gave the following synopsis:

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It follows Avery Keene, a law clerk in Washington, D.C. who finds herself involved in a controversial court case—surrounding an American biotech company and an Indian genetics firm—and a potential conspiracy that reaches to the deepest levels of the government.

“I am excited to step into the world of legal suspense novels and political thrillers with While Justice Sleeps,” Abrams told EW. “The tensions of politics and power are the core of this story—people scrambling for leverage and desperate to win. And having been a young lawyer myself once, I explore what it means to have authority but no real power. How do you navigate those spaces when there is work to be done and you’re it?”

“People scrambling for leverage and desperate to win” sounds eerily familiar (triggering, even)—and we already know Abrams has firsthand experience with being “it” when there’s “work to be done.” But as she told the outlet, her love of reading, writing and literature come from a source far of political intrigue: her parents. “Before they became ministers, my mother was a librarian and my dad was an avid storyteller,” she said. “So my five siblings and I became voracious readers. Storytelling has always been a part of who I am.”

While Justice Sleeps debuts on May 11, but is available for preorder now.