The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Indie Book of the Month - April 2021

The Booksellers Association has named The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams as its Fiction Book of the Month for April, and Weirdo by Zadie Smith & Nick Laird, illustrated by Magenta Fox, as Children’s Book of the Month.
Pip William’s debut novel The Dictionary of Lost Words tells the story of Esme, whose father is helping gather words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. Hidden beneath the table on which words are sorted, Esme begins to collect those words which have been misplaced, discarded, or neglected by the dictionary men, and soon realises that some words are considered more serious than others, with words related to women often going unrecorded. Against the backdrop of the women’s suffrage movement and the years before the Great War, Esme begins to collect words for another dictionary, containing these lost and ignored words. The Dictionary of Lost Words is published in hardback by Chatto and Windus on 15th April and is available for pre-order from bookshops now.
Author Pip Williams said, “Where would I be without independent booksellers? They are the bridge between the book industry and the community, between writers and readers. Over the past twelve months of extraordinary uncertainty and isolation, independent booksellers have made it possible to escape into stories and ideas by finding ways to get books into readers’ hands - even when their doors were shut. As a reader, I have been so grateful. And now, The Dictionary of Lost Words has been chosen as the Fiction Book of the Month. This is an extraordinary endorsement of the story I have written and a huge privilege. I am delighted to think that my book will get to travel around the UK via the shelves of bookstores, even though I am stuck in Australia. As with so much these days, my gratitude to all the individuals who champion my book will be virtual, but no less heartfelt. Thank you.” 

Bookseller Jo Coldwell, Red Lion Books, described The Dictionary of Lost Words as, “written with a light touch [with] accessible and likeable characters”.

Weirdo is the new title from acclaimed authors Zadie Smith and Nick Laird, and is the story of Maud, a guinea pig who wears a judo suit and is given as a gift for Kit’s birthday. Although Kit’s other pets have never met anyone like Maud before, with bravery, kindness and a bit of luck, she may learn that being yourself is the best thing you can be. Weirdo is published in hardback by Puffin on 15th April and is available for pre-order now.

Illustrator Magenta Fox commented, "Independent bookshops are so important. They are always lovely, cosy places, but more than that they are often the first to champion voices in their community that have not been heard. Giving authors and illustrators the platform they need to speak is really the most loving thing a bookseller can do - not just for those authors and illustrators, but for the whole community. And that is something really special. I know Maud will have the best time settling in!"

Independent bookshops around the UK and Ireland will be promoting The Dictionary of Lost Words and Weirdo throughout April on social media and instore. The Booksellers Association will be supporting the promotion of the Indie Books of the Month through social media and promotional material.
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