Ones to read in 2009
In true eagle-eyed Scribbler enthusiasm, we have sought out – with the help of Waterstones – the writers we all need to look out for and read this year.
The high street booksellers, Waterstone’s this week announced its New Voices for 2009, the books from emerging writers that the chain believes will go on to feature in and possibly win the literary awards of the year.
Incredibly half the choices came from independent publishers, including A Kind of Intimacy, a debut by prison librarian Jenn Ashworth which is being compared to Notes on a Scandal, and Ablutions by Patrick DeWitt.
Waterstone’s fiction category manager, Toby Bourne said: “There are a huge number of novels published every year and it is very difficult to say which will strike awards gold and which will not, but we had a fantastic hit rate last year.”
Included in 2008’s selection were Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger which went on to win the Man Booker, Sadie Jones’ The Outcast, which was awarded the Costa First Novel Award, and other novels that made Richard & Judy’s Book Club (bleurgh!) and other awards shortlists.
“Even more so than last year, debut fiction dominates our list, with only the precociously talented Richard Milward two novels into his career,” said Waterstone’s fiction buyer, Janine Cook, who helped choose the list.”
Ten Torey Love Song by Richard Milward, only his second book, is a novel written in a single, 286-page paragraph by the 24-year-old.
Cook went onto to say: “The writers may be new, but they have huge talent and these books deserve to compete with those from more established writers for both the attention of readers and for the big prizes.
“This is an invaluable opportunity for these authors to reach the widest possible audience. The Outcast and The White Tiger have gone on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies between them since inclusion in New Voices 2008, so the rewards can be very high.”
Waterstones’ New Voices will be featured in Waterstones’ stores and online at Waterstones.com from 5 March.
The titles are:
- A Kind of Intimacy by Jenn Ashworth
- Ablutions by Patrick DeWitt
- An Equal Stillness by Francesca Kay
- Black Rock by Amanda Smyth
- Days of Grace by Catherine Hall
- Guernica by Dave Boling
- The Street Philosopher by Matthew Plampin
- Ten Storey Love Song by Richard Milward
- The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan
- The Piano Teacher by Janice Y K Lee
- The Rescue Man by Anthony Quinn
- The Vagrants by Yiyun Li
Watch a Richard Millward talk about his New Voices of 2009 highlighted novel Ten Storey Love Song below:
So then, has anyone read any of these new offerings? Will anyone be looking into any of these books now they have received the titles of New Voices of 2009? It’s gotta be a good thing right?
Words: Dean Samways
Keep coming back to The Scribbler for interviews with the New Voices of 2009 in the coming weeks