Saturday, January 22, 2011

Waterstone's reveals its 11 debut fiction picks for 2011

The Bookseller - 21.01.11 - Graeme Neill

Three titles from Penguin and three from Random House are among Waterstone's choices as the 11 best debut fiction books of 2011.

The retailer unveiled the Waterstone's 11 at an event at its Piccadilly branch in London this evening (20th February). Among the choices are books by a 25 year old lecturer from an Ivy League University, an actress, the former literary editor of The Daily Telegraph and a man at the centre of a 12 way bidding war.

The full list is as follows:

City of Bohane by Kevin Barry (Jonathan Cape, published 7th April)
The Free World by David Bezmozgis (Viking, 7th April)
The Registrar’s Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages by Sophie Hardach (Simon & Schuster, 14th April)
22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson (Fig Tree, 28th April)
Chinaman by Shehan Karunatilaka (Jonathan Cape, 7th April)
Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman (Bloomsbury, 7th March)
The Coincidence Engine by Sam Leith (Bloomsbury, 4th April)
The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht (Orion, 10th March)
The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skibsrud (William Heinemann, 7th April)
The Collaborator by Mirza Waheed (Viking, 24th February)
When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman (Headline, 3rd March)

Kelman's book was subject to a heated bidding war, while the debut by Sam Leith, former literary editor of The Daily Telegraph, has been hailed by William Boyd as "an invigorating blast of fiction". Former actress Sarah Winman has appeared in the likes of Foyle's War and Casualty. Téa Obreht lectures in creative writing at Cornell University in the United States.

Waterstone's m.d. Dominic Myers said: "I am in the book business because I love finding great new writing, and I know I am not alone in that passion. Our first Waterstone’s 11 is quite genuinely one of the most exciting and remarkable collections of debut novels I’ve seen in my career. It’s going to be a great year for fiction."

Waterstone's head of fiction Toby Bourne said: "We aspire to make the Waterstone's 11 one of the first major fixtures of the literary calendar, annually introducing our squad of authors en masse to the media, and supporting their titles as they are published. This will culminate later in the year when we promote all 11 titles together in a front-of-store promotion."

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