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Publishers confess to coveting Smith
24.12.12 | Bookseller staff
Zadie Smith's N-W (Hamish Hamilton) is the book other publishers most wish they'd brought out in 2012, according to a feature in The Guardian.
Both Granta/Portobello's Philip Gwyn Jones and Bloomsbury's Alexandra Pringle named the novel as the one they wish they'd been able to get their hands on this year. Pringle said it was because Smith "is, quite simply, the bee's knees", while Gwyn Jones commented that the author is "by far the most natural and most challenging contemporary novelist Britain has at hand."
Other wishlists included Simon and Schuster's Suzanne Baboneau yearning after "one-of-a-kind" thriller Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), while Richard Beswick of Little, Brown and Abacus wanted John Lanchester's Capital (Faber), and Fourth Estate's Nicholas Pearson regretted not having the nerve to secure Kevin Powers' The Yellow Birds (Sceptre) in a "vicious" auction.
Books publishers felt had had less than their due of success included Roland Phillip's tip from John Murray, Manu Joseph's The Illicit Happiness of Other People, while Penguin Press' Simon Winder lamented that the portrait of a "disgusting nazified honeypot" in Nicholas Lezard's The Nolympics had been unexpectedly derailed when the letters NHS flashed up in the Games opening ceremony. "This so completely disoriented liberals that they suddenly fell into line and went all Leni Riefenstahl for two weeks," Winder said.