The 2021 Wodehouse Comedy Fiction Prize selection unveiled – News
The Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Award has announced the list of finalists for 2021.
Now in its 21st year, the Wodehouse Prize is the UK’s longest-running award for comedy fiction. Recognizing the best comedy novels, winners of the past two decades have included Helen Fielding, Ian McEwan, Terry Pratchett and Nina Stibbe.
This year’s shortlist is:
The judges said: “So much to love Ghosts – a story that took us away from the pandemic and plunged us back into the terror of being in our thirties. Dolly demonstrates the universal conundrum of trying to be your best, while having to exist near other people. So many laughs, punctuated by beautifully moving moments. “
Between Beirut and the Moon by Naji Bakhti
The judges said: “It’s a book that makes you laugh, then surprises you, then horrifies you, teaches you something, then makes you laugh again. Never before have we considered the logistics of going to the bathroom. while the bombs go off. This is a book we read and immediately mailed to friends and family stating READ THIS. READ IT NOW. “
Destination marriage by Diksha Basu
The judges said: “Such great figures in this hilarious and deep dive into identity, belonging and extravagant marriages. After a year without travel, it was wonderful to be back in Delhi, drinking champagne with the top shelf, laughing with (or at?) this wonderfully eclectic group, donated by Diksha Basu. “
The accidental collector by Guy Kennaway
The judges said: “The accidental collector, is an outrageous sendoff from the world of contemporary art that really made us laugh out loud. It’s insightful, hugely entertaining, and full of surprises: it turned out to be the perfect lockdown read. “
The judges said: “A delightfully surreal story with pirates, assassins and lots of whimsical surprises. And if you’ve ever used a temp agency, you’ll look at them in a whole new light. This book was fun and a book who kept making me say “We hope it’s true. This is certainly not the case. But we hope it does. “It’s a look at a world we want to live in.”
The judges said, “Run into your bookstore, or if you’re very brave, go online and buy Lauren Oyler’s debut novel! It’s a fabulously funny, deeply frightening and terribly insightful dive into the toxic and alluring maze that ‘is life online. Written by a writer who is already at his best. “
The judges are comedians Daliso Chaponda, Pippa Evans and Sindhu Vee, as well as Justin Albert (vice-president of the Hay Festival and director of the National Trust Wales), David Campbell (publisher, Everyman’s Library) and broadcaster James Naughtie.
David Campbell comments: “The judges for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Comic Book Award gathered on the first day they were allowed to have lunch in the garden of the Goring Hotel to decide on our shortlist. Along with a few drinks of Bollinger, we agreed this was a truly vintage 21st year for the price. With a choice of 81 books submitted, we narrowed them down to a shortlist of six exceptionally strong and fun books. “
The 2021 winner will be announced on June 23, on a special 21st anniversary party. The winner will receive a jeroboam of Bollinger Special Cuvée, a case of Bollinger The Great Year, the complete set from the Everyman’s Library PG Wodehouse collection and, as tradition has it, a pig will be named after their winning book.
Today’s shortlist announcement will be celebrated with a live Instagram feed featuring Pippa Evans and Daliso Chaponda, hosted in partnership with Hay Festival, at 12:30 p.m. (Sunday, June 30). It will be broadcast via Instagram channels @hayfestival and @everymanslibrary.