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Stephen Collins’ debut graphic novel The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Book of the Year Award, pitting him against such established authors as Kate Atkinson and Julian Barnes.
Published in June by Jonathan Cape, the graphic novel is an off-beat fairy tale about a man with a boring office job who quite suddenly begins to grow a beard — but not just any beard. It quickly becomes, as the title suggests, massive and uncontrollable, attracting the attention of tourists and law enforcement alike, and upending the staid order on the island of Here.
The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil is in competition with five other books: Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson; Levels of Life, by Julian Barnes; Maps, by Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński; Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life, by Nina Stibbe; and Stoner, by John Williams.
Nominees for the Waterstones Book of the Year Award are selected by the British retailer’s booksellers from across the country, who were asked “to choose a book that stood out in its field, and that would speak to the company’s core customers – those people who love reading and that love books.” The winner will be announced Dec. 3.