W&N wins debut at auction

<p>Orion imprint Weidenfeld &amp; Nicolson has signed a two-book deal with a debut writer, after winning the rights at auction. </p><p>Publishing director Kirsty Dunseath bought UK and Commonwealth rights to two books by Shelley Harris from Jo Unwin at Conville &amp; Walsh for an undisclosed sum. Weidenfeld &amp; Nicolson plan to publish the first book,<em> Jubilee,</em> in 2012 to coincide with the Queen&#39;s Diamond Jubilee. </p><p>Dunseath said: &quot;Shelley is a real find. The voice in the novel is delightful, instantly engaging and full of warmth. <em>Jubilee </em>appeals to a certain nostalgia for the days when Abba vied with punk, when Jammie Dodgers were the biscuit of choice, and mothers across the country were busy icing buns red, white and blue... we will of course be asking booksellers to dig out their own memories and photographs.&quot;</p><p>Unwin added: &quot;Kirsty is about to discover that working with Shelley is an absolute joy. <em>Jubilee</em> is a thoughtful, resonant, funny book and I&#39;m glad it&#39;s found a perfect home.&quot;</p><p>Set on the day of the Queen&#39;s Silver Jubilee in 1977, the book looks at &quot;race, identity, community and childhood&quot;, focusing around a picture of a street party with a small Asian boy staring intensely at the camera. The photograph is adopted as a symbol of &quot;everything that is great and good about Britain&quot;, but as the story unfolds, the truth behind the picture is revealed. </p>