Smith and Shafak in Pushkin bookshop celebration

Smith and Shafak in Pushkin bookshop celebration

Writers Ali Smith and Elif Shafak are to contribute to a collection of original essays on bookshops around the world, titled Browse, to be published by Pushkin Press this autumn.

Pushkin Press holds world rights, and has just sold Italian rights to Bompiani.

Browse: The World in 15 Bookshops will also include contributions by Pankaj Mishra, Yiyun Li and Andrey Kurkov among others, and will be edited by author and critic Henry Hitchings.

"Wistful, provocative, funny or deadly serious (sometimes all at once), the essays range from favourite establishments to the joy of unexpected discoveries, and probe the very concept of the bookshop itself", the publisher has said.

Gesche Ipsen, commissioning editor at Pushkin, said: "Browse is proof, if ever it was needed, that the bookshop is one of the most vital institutions yet invented. We may be tempted to think of traditional bookshops as cosy and comforting, but the best of them are powerful, even radical, places: able to shape minds, create new authors, even influence history."

Hitchings said: "I'm delighted by Browse’s unapologetic bookishness. The contributions are vividly personal – often surprisingly so. The aim has always been to achieve a richly international flavour, and it’s excellent that Bompiani will be bringing these essays to Italian readers."

Beatrice Masini, editor at Bompiani, said: "A world tour through bookshops: how refreshing. While reading these essays one feels that peculiar dizziness that catches you whenever you feel at home in a bookshop."

Browse will be published in October as a jacketed B-format hardback priced £12.99.