It is a literary award that only three women have ever won, sparking accusations of sexism from a top author.
But now the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction has produced a female-dominated shortlist, with only two men among six contenders.
Bestselling writer Marian Keyes questioned last year why she had not been shortlisted for the prize.
Bestselling writer Marian Keyes questioned last year why she had not been shortlisted for the prize
‘Say what you like about me, my books are funny, they are comic. What else do I have to do to qualify?’ she complained.
The Wodehouse Prize was not awarded at all in 2018 because none of the books put forward prompted ‘unanimous, abundant laughter’ from the judges.
Now it has returned, and Nina Stibbe has made the shortlist for the third time with her book Reasons to be Cheerful.
Now it has returned, and Nina Stibbe (pictured right) has made the shortlist for the third time with her book Reasons to be Cheerful. Lissa Evans (left) also returns for a third time with her eighth novel, Old Baggage
Lissa Evans also returns for a third time with her eighth novel, Old Baggage.
They will go up against Kate Davies’s first novel for adults, In at the Deep End, and US writer Jen Beagin’s Vacuum in the Dark.
The two men are Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle, for Charlie Savage, and New Zealander Paul Ewen, with Plug: Writer in Residence.
Famous authors are being told to write their new novels under pseudonyms because of an ‘obsession’ with debut writers, Joanne Harris has claimed.
Harris, 54, best known for her novel Chocolat, said the publishing industry wanted to sign new authors because they were more likely to win the big literary prizes.
She tweeted: ‘Increasing numbers of experienced authors (most of them women) are being advised to write under a different name, so their publisher can present them as debut authors.’
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