Waterstones has partnered with publishers and authors including Bernardine Evaristo, Marina Lewycka and Jasper Fforde in a bid to raise £1 million for Oxfam’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
Every branch of Waterstones, Foyles, Blackwell’s, Hatchards and Hodges Figgis will have a curated Read for Ukraine table at the front of the shop, featuring a mix of fiction and nonfiction titles donated by publishers and their authors.
Among the 27 books in the initial selection are Mr Loverman by Bernadine Evaristo, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, Summer by Ali Smith and A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka. Oxfam’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal will receive 100% of the proceeds from sales of the books.
In addition, Penguin Random House and Waterstones are offering a special charity edition of Andrey Kurkov’s Death and the Penguin, a tragicomic novel about an obituary writer and his pet penguin, Misha. Kurkov has written a new introduction, placing the novel in the context of the Ukrainian conflict. Every sale of the book, which is priced at £12.99, will include a donation of £10.
James Daunt, managing director of Waterstones, said: “We are very proud as booksellers to be able to work with authors and publishers to make this collective contribution to help the humanitarian effort to support those affected by the crisis in Ukraine. We thank the authors and publishers for their generosity. This is a compelling selection of books, with every penny from their sale going to support this urgent work.”
Waterstones said the campaign is likely to continue for some months, with the selection of books being regularly refreshed in collaboration with publishers. Danny Sriskandarajah, chief executive of Oxfam GB, said: “We are incredibly grateful to everyone involved in the Read for Ukraine initiative for their support to people fleeing the devastating conflict in Ukraine. As humanitarian needs continue to grow, the money raised will help Oxfam and partner organisations in eastern Europe to provide vital support to people who have already lost so much. With so many people displaced by the conflict, we are also working to set up safe travel routes for refugees and advocating for governments to honour their international commitments to the rights of all refugees.” (Guardian)