Books by Natasha Brown (Photo), Warren Ellis and Tom Gauld were named Foyles Books of the Year.
brown Assembly (Hamish Hamilton), who follows a young black British woman on her way to a party at her boyfriend’s country estate, won Fiction Book of the Year.
Musician and composer Ellis’ Nina Simone’s gum (Faber & Faber) was named Non-Fiction Book of the Year and tells how, in 1999, at the end of Nina Simone’s concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London, Ellis jumped on stage and took the chewing gum thrown from Simone as a memento. Twenty years later, as her bandmate and longtime friend Nick Cave sets up an exhibit, Ellis tells the story of gum and the collaborative journey to sharing it with the world.
Finally, Gauld The little wooden robot and the log princess (Templar Publishing) received the Children’s Book of the Year award. The picture book is a fairy tale in which a king and queen become the parents of a wooden robot (with beetles living inside it) and a girl who secretly turns into a log when ‘she sleeps. When one night the Log Princess is added to a pile of wood and taken away, the little wooden robot sets out on a quest to bring his sister home.
Gavin Read, Marketing and Communications Manager at Foyles, said: “After a year of reading, discussing and selling books, we have selected our three most essential recommendations. Each is the work of an individual who moves into a new creative territory, each is vitally original in its own way, and each offers the reader countless riches. These are three books that we believe deserve as wide a readership as possible.
Foyles will sell an exclusive edition of the Year’s Book of Assembly with gold leaf cover detail, signed by the author and numbered over 1000. Upon hearing of his victory, Brown said: “Since my first visit to the Charing Cross Road store as a teenager (to purchase a textbook from math, of course!), I loved buying books at Foyles. It is an absolute honor and pleasure that my first novel has been chosen as one of the Foyles books of the year. I am very grateful to the amazing team of booksellers at Foyles for standing up for Assembly to their readers.
Scarlett Madge, Regional Sales Support for Foyles Charing Cross Road, said: “In just 100 pages, Assembly offers the reader a fascinating inner world, figures drawn by experts and an essential questioning of modern Britain and the legacy of its colonialist past. Brown’s control of rhythm, form and structure is masterful – this is the first outing of colossal talent.
Foyles will also sell signed editions of Nina Simone’s gum with a signed limited art print. Ellis said he was “blown away” to have his book selected as the Non-Fiction Book of the Year, adding: “It has been amazing to see the reaction to my book. Thank you Foyles and thank you Faber for having listened to my story about a piece of chewing gum that I acquired 20 years ago from Dr Simone. ”
Signed editions and one signed limited artwork will also be available for The little wooden robot and the log princess at Foyles. Gauld will also paint the shop window of the Royal Festival Hall in Foyles in December and the artwork of the characters will be on display in store. Gauld said: “I am very proud to have been chosen by Foyles as Children’s Book of the Year. This is my first children’s book, so I wasn’t at all sure what kind of reaction it would elicit. I was relieved when I found an agent who liked it, delighted when Templar wanted to publish it, and now it’s the icing on the cake. I’ve been coming to Foyles for as long as I’ve lived in London, but while working on my story I came specifically to walk around the kids’ section looking for inspiration from the beautiful books there. So it’s really nice to be picked by the staff at Foyles and to see my book sitting on those same shelves.