The selection for year’s Waterstones 11 was announced earlier this week (Thursday 19th), at a reception at Waterstones’ flagship store in Piccadilly. Created to recognise and promote the best in debut novels for the year that lies ahead, there is much value – in terms of exposure and promotion – for the author who finds him or herself selected as one of the chosen 11. This year’s selection is as follows (links lead to product pages on Waterstones):
- The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan (William Heinemann)
- Absolution by Patrick Flanery (Atlantic Books)
- Shelter by Frances Greenslade (Virago)
- The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (Fourth Estate)
- The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (Headline Review)
- The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (Doubleday)
- The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen (Chatto & Windus)
- Signs of Life by Anna Raverat (Picador)
- The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan (Virago, 29th March)
- The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (Simon & Schuster)
- Care of Wooden Floors by Will Wiles (Harper Press)
Speaking of this year’s selection Waterstones’ Managing Director, James Daunt had the following to say:
There is a singular excitement to the discovery of a new writer of rare talent. For us booksellers, the process of introducing and guiding readers to the very best new work is one of the most important roles we perform. This year’s 11 are once again a marvellous selection. It is hard to believe these are debut novels, so assured and alive the writing.
Further details and sample chapters of all eleven titles, can be found on Waterstones website.
Rob’s Reaction: As a champion of debut novelists on RobAroundBooks, I’m delighted to see that Waterstones have continued their promotion of deserving newcomers, into a second year. Having not read any of the eleven titles to date I have little to say (from an informed position at least), but I know that there has been a lot of excitable chatter on the grapevine already (not just from marketeers but from fellow readers who I admire and trust), both for Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding and Eowyn Ivey’s Snow Child. In my opinion, at this stage at least, these seem to be the primary two to look out for.
What interests me most about this year’s Waterstones 11 selection however, is the fact that eight of the eleven selected titles are by women authors. Some may cry sexism, but such a notion is preposterous. Rather, it shows that women authors are, as they have always been, a force with reckoned with. I look forward with much excitement to seeing how all of these debut novels fare in the coming year.
What about you dear reader? Which of the debut novels in this year’s Waterstones 11 are you most looking froward to reading? Perhaps you’ve read one or two of them already? If so, please pass on your thoughts and comments below.