Battle for the Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction

Sir Terry Pratchett and Sue Townsend are among the five writers competing for this year’s Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction.

The judges of the prize are: James Naughtie, broadcaster and author; David Campbell, Everyman’s Library publisher; and Peter Florence, Director of The Telegraph Hay Festival. Florence said:
“It’s a really happy list which resonates with lots of the verbal wit, delightful characterisation and satirical edge of Wodehouse’s own work. There are three great comic writers on top form – O’Farrell, Pratchett and Townsend, John Lanchester’s masterly novel Capital that teems with humour and Julian Gough’s picaresque satire Jude in London.”

The brilliant fantasy writer Pratchett, who has sold more than 70 million books worldwide, is best known for his inventive Discworld series of comic fantasy novels and this is the fourth time the 64-year-old has been nominated for the prize – for Snuff – having previously been shortlisted for his novels Thief of Times (2002), Going Postal (2005) and Thud (2006).

John O’Farrell (The Man Who Forgot His Wife) and Julian Gough (Jude in London) both appear on the list for a second time, while Sue Townsend (The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year) and John Lanchester (Capital) are newcomers to the prize, which is given to the book which best captures the “comic spirit” of PG Wodehouse.

This year’s winner will be announced just ahead of the Hay festival (30
May- 10 June), followed by a ceremony at the festival where the winner will
receive a jeroboam of Bollinger Special Cuvée, a case of Bollinger La Grande
Année and a set of the Everyman Wodehouse collection, which now totals over 80
books. The winner will also be honoured with the presentation of a locally-bred
Gloucestershire Old Spot pig, who will be named after their winning title.

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