We’re unbelievably excited to announce that Christine Pillainayagam‘s funny, uplifting and brilliant debut YA novel about music and belonging, Ellie Pillai is Brown has been snapped up by Faber & Faber in a two-book deal! UK & Commonwealth rights were acquired by publisher Leah Thaxton from Thérèse Coen.

Ellie Pillai is Brown is set to hit shelves in spring 2022, with the follow-up publishing in spring 2023. We can’t wait for readers to fall in love with Ellie just as much as we have, but in the meantime we’re delighted to be able to share the cover for Ellie Pillai is Brown in this fantastic trailer, featuring vocals from the unbelievable talented Christine! Pre-order here.


My name is Ellie. Ellie Pillai . . . And I suppose I am a little bit weird, but then, aren’t we all, just a little bit?

Most days, Ellie Pillai is somewhere between invisible, and not very cool – and usually she’s okay with that. But suddenly, Ellie feels different. Maybe it’s the new boy at school who makes her brain explode into rainbows every time she sees him (and also happens to be going out with her best friend), or maybe it’s her new drama teacher, the one who seems to have noticed she exists. Suddenly, her misfit style, her skin colour, her songwriting and all that getting lost in the music in her head seem to be okay too. Because maybe standing out isn’t a bad thing after all.

Christine Pillainayagam is a writer and retail strategist, who lives in North London with her young family and a collection of records, CD’s and minidiscs (remember those?). A mild obsession with The Beatles and the desire to write a story that reflected her own experiences growing up as a first-generation immigrant, led her to put that love of music and words into a book. Ellie Pillai Is Brown, is her debut novel.