Zimbabwe debut to Chatto

Zimbabwe debut to Chatto

Chatto & Windus has won a six-figure auction for a debut novel said to have a "purist quality" which bucks the recent trend of high-concept fiction.

Chatto editorial director Becky Hardie bought UK and Commonwealth rights in We Need New Names by Zimbabwean author, NoViolet Bulawayo, from Alba Ziegler-Bailey at Andrew Wylie, to publish in 2013. Two publishers are understood to have offered above the £150,000 mark.

The book is about a 10-year-old girl and set partly in a Zimbabwean shanty town and partly in the American Midwest. Hardie said: "It has a purist quality and she is a really extraordinary author. The language is dazzling."