This year’s Waterstone’s shortlist – the winner will be announced on Tuesday 3rd December, includes a wide variety of writing talent and includes début graphic novelist Stephen Collins who finds himself head-to-head with more well known literary figures Kate Atkinson and Julian Barnes, all competing for the title of Waterstone’s Book of the Year 2013.
The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, is a critically acclaimed pencil-drawn fairytale for adults, The other contenders are in it for – Kate Atkinson, her novel Life After Life, whose protagonist has the opportunity to live her life again and again in a bid to get it right. Julain Barnes former Man Booker Prize-winner whose Levels of Life, is a blend of essay, fiction and memoir dealing with the death of his beloved wife, and it represents his most personal work to date.
Two of the books in contention are written by authors from overseas: Maps, an illustrated map of the world by Polish husband-and-wife team Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński; and the 1965 novel Stoner, by the late American author John Williams. This had been one of the most talked about books of the year, with Ian McEwan, Bret Easton Ellis and Tom Hanks amongst its high-profile admirers .
Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life, Nina Stibbe’s completes the shortlist. This is a ‘charming collection of letters home to her sister, describing her trials and triumphs as a working-class nanny to a well-heeled London family’.
Waterstones booksellers across the country nominated the book they thought deserved the title of Book of the Year. They were asked to choose a book that stood out in its field, and that would speak to the company’s core customers – those people who love reading and that love books.
‘We have enjoyed another year of extraordinary publishing with our booksellers championing a great array of titles.” said Waterstones Managing Director James Daunt. “As you would expect, they have selected an eclectic and surprising shortlist for our Book of the Year, all fabulous books that are distinctively inspiring and which I am sure will provoke as much passionate interest from our customers as they already have from our booksellers.’