Foyles has revealed its three Books of the Year, with Baileys Women’s Prize-winner Naomi Alderman taking the fiction crown for The Power (Viking).
Set in a world in which women gain the power to electrocute at will, The Power is a feminist science fiction novel which questions whether women would abuse power any differently to men, given the chance. It also scooped the £30,000 Bailey Women’s Prize in June.
Foyles’ Non-Fiction Book of the Year meanwhile is Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race (Bloomsbury), based on a blog of the same name drawn from the author’s frustration with the way discussions about race and racism in Britain were being led by those who weren't affected by it.
Children’s Book of the Year has been scooped by Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo (Particular Books). Published after being successfully crowdfunded on Kickstarter, the illustrated book tells the stories of 100 heroic women from Elizabeth I to Serena Williams after the authors were inspired by the lack of female role models in children’s literature.
Foyles booksellers and staff across London, Bristol, Birmingham and Chelmsford voted for the titles from three shortlists made up of the company’s bestselling titles of 2017.
Both Reni Eddo-Lodge’s book and Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls were also voted as the Non-Fiction Book of the Year and the Children’s Book of the Year by Blackwell’s booksellers last week.
Paul Currie, c.e.o. at Foyles, said it was hard to think of three titles more “current” than the ones his booksellers had selected.
“You can always rely on a Foyles bookseller to recommend books that will entertain, surprise, challenge and stir the reader, and our colleagues have done just that with these three excellent books,” he said. “As part of our core values we ask all our booksellers to be current and I think this really shines through in their choices this year: it’s hard to think of three books more relevant to the here and now.”
Heather Baker, senior buyer at Foyles, said the title “all centre women’s voices and perspectives in a powerful and unique way”.
“Each addresses an imbalance in power: from Naomi Alderman’s high-voltage tale of social upheaval, to Reni Eddo-Lodge’s urgent discussion of race, class and privilege, to the overlooked tales of courageous women retold so beautifully by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo,” she said. “Each in its own way is passionate, timely and thought-provoking. I’m immensely proud of this list, and so happy that Foyles is a place where books like this flourish, and conversations begin...”
All three titles will be promoted heavily in Foyles’ seven physical shops and online store in the run-up to Christmas.
They are likely to receive a strong sales boost after last year’s winner, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout (Oneworld), shifted 6,000 copies through Foyles tills since it was announced as the retailer’s inaugural Book of the Year in December 2016.