With authors from six different countries being chosen, Waterstones Managing Director James Daunt stressed the importance of the physical bookshop as the best place to highlight new writing.
“It is in bookshops – the bricks and mortar kind – that new writers are most easily discovered and championed.” he said, adding “The Waterstones Eleven puts new writing at the forefront of the literary calendar and has quickly become a celebration our readers trust.”
This year’s Eleven includes Pig’s Foot, by Principal Guest Artist for the Royal Ballet, Carlos Acosta, alongside a touching work by French opera director Michel Rostain, whose novel The Son provides a fictionalised account of his grief following the death of his son, won the Prix Goncourt for Début Fiction in 2011.
They are joined by PhD student Hannah Kent‘s Burial Rites, which was the subject of a global bidding war; Ballistics by BBC Short Story Award winner DW Wilson; Marriage Material, by Sathnam Sanghera, which is inspired by Arnold Bennett‘s The Old Wives’ Tale; as well as Ghana Must Go by Yale and Oxford graduate Taiye Selasi.
Previous Waterstones Eleven authors have gone on to dominate the publishing world both critically and commercially in the year that followed. Rachel Joyce‘s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, was 2012′s best selling début, as well as being longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, whilst The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen won last year’s Desmond Elliott Prize. The inaugural Waterstones Eleven included the top ten book of 2011, When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman, and Téa Obreht‘s Orange Prize winning The Tiger’s Wife.
Daunt concluded by saying he looked forward “to reading, discussing and arguing about these books in the months to come and to following the brilliant writing careers our authors are destined to enjoy.”
Click play below to watch the announcement video.
The Waterstones Eleven 2013 list in full:
Pig’s Foot by Carlos Acosta (Bloomsbury, 30th October)
Idiopathy by Sam Byers (Fourth Estate, 25th April)
Y by Marjorie Celona (Faber and Faber, 17th January)
The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence (Hodder & Stoughton, 31st January)
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Picador, 29th August)
The Fields by Kevin Maher (Little, Brown, 7th March)
The Son by Michel Rostain (Tinder Press, 23rd May)
The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan (Doubleday Ireland, 27th June)
Marriage Material by Sathnam Sanghera (William Heinemann, 26th September)
Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi (Viking, 4th April)
Ballistics by D.W. Wilson (Bloomsbury, 1st August)
You can find out more about the Waterstones Eleven, and read free samples of each book by visiting our Waterstones.com page.
Check back on Waterstones.com/blog for interviews with each of the Waterstones Eleven authors coming soon.
Dan Lewis, for Waterstones.com/blog
Let us know what you think of this year’s Waterstones Eleven selection in the comments below, or join the conversation on Twitter #Wats11.