January 21, 2011 / 3:45 PM / 8 years ago

UK book chain starts annual debut authors hot list

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - British bookselling chain Waterstone’s has announced its first annual list of 11 debut novelists expected to achieve critical and commercial success.

The list is a new initiative from Waterstone’s, a unit of the struggling games, books and music retailer HMV Group, which brought in Managing Director Dominic Myers to review and revitalize Waterstone’s after a tough trading period that saw rival book chain Borders go into administration.

“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,” Myers said in a statement.

The 11 include 20-something Cornell University lecturer Téa Obreht whose book talks of tigers and the Balkans, former Reuters correspondent Sophie Hardach writing about forced marriages, film and television actress Sarah Winman on innocence and Stephen Kelman — who made British news last year when his novel “Pigeon English” was at the center of a 12-way bidding war to name just four.

The full list of the Waterstone’s 11 is as follows:

City of Bohane by Kevin Barry (Jonathan Cape)

The Free World by David Bezmozgis (Viking)

The Registrar’s Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages by Sophie Hardach (Simon & Schuster)

22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson (Fig Tree)

Chinaman by Shehan Karunatilaka (Jonathan Cape)

Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman (Bloomsbury)

The Coincidence Engine by Sam Leith (Bloomsbury)

The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht (Orion)

The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skibsrud (William Heinemann)

The Collaborator by Mirza Waheed (Viking)

When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman (Headline)

Reporting by Paul Casciato; editing by Steve Addison

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