This post is also available in: العربية

Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, published by HarperCollins UK in 2017, is turning out to be one of the most successful debut novels of recent years.  Earlier this month it added a new award to its roster of achievements when it was named Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the Year at the Specsavers National Book Awards in London.  This accolade now joins the Costa First Novel Award, the British Book Awards Debut of the Year and the British Book Awards Overall Novel of the Year.

The novel tells the story of a lonely office odd ball who leads a quiet, ritualised shut down life – until she meets a cool musician and enlists the help of Raymond, a new guy at the office, to help her fulfil her quest, with unexpected results.  It has touched a great many people and has been a huge international success for HarperCollins and for Honeymoon’s agent Madeline Millburn.

The novel has now sold in almost 40 territories and numerous languages including Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian, Thai and Vietnamese.  It is published in Arabic by Hamid Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU) in Doha, Qatar.

The awards evening, at the Royal Institute in London’s Piccadilly, also saw Sally Rooney, author of Conversations with Friends and Normal People (both Faber) named International Author of the Year, and Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials trilogy and The Book of Dust Vol 1 La Belle Sauvage named UK Author of the Year.

The awards are sponsored by UK optician Specsavers – and there was even a display of reading glasses just in case anyone was in any doubt about their line of business.