Advertisement

Edward St. Aubyn wins lit prize with book skewering lit prizes

Edward St. Aubyn wins lit prize with book skewering lit prizes
Edward St. Aubyn has won the Wodehouse Prize. (TIMOTHY ALLEN)

Edward St. Aubyn's novel "Lost for Words," a send-up of literary prizes in the U.K., has unexpectedly been named the winner of a British literary prize.

"The only thing I was sure of when I was writing this satire on literary prizes was that it wouldn't win any prizes," St. Aubyn told the Guardian. "I was wrong. I had overlooked the one prize with a sense of humor."

Advertisement

That's the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic writing. It's named for P.G. Wodehouse, the author of the Jeeves and Wooster novels and other comic works of the early 20th century. It comes with a bottle of Bollinger champagne and a local pig named for the winning book.

"I regret that my pig and I will not be spending as much time together as we both might have liked, but I know we will be in complete harmony," St. Aubyn said. "'Lost for Words' will be leading a literary life down on Comic Farm, surrounded by Lightning Rods and Snuff and Skios, and all the other previous winners, while I'll be up in London making a pig of myself with a jeroboam of delicious Bollinger."

On June 3, St. Aubyn comes to the Los Angeles Public Library's ALOUD series to talk about "Lost for Words."

St. Aubyn's book beat out five others on the shortlist -- "Mad About the Boy" by Helen Fielding, "The Last Word" by Hanif Kureshi, "Straight White Male" by John Niven, "The Thrill of It All
 by Joseph O'Connor, and "Jeeves and the Wedding Bells," an authorized revival of the Jeeves story penned by Sebastian Faulks.

That's right, the authorized continuation of the famed Wodehouse story didn't win the Wodehouse Prize. St. Aubyn, who is best known for his Patrick Melrose novels, was gracious about the win.

"The challenge I set myself with 'Lost For Words' was to see if I could enjoy writing. In that, at least, I succeeded," he said. "The fact this novel has given pleasure to others—and in particular the judges of the Bollinger Everyman Woodhouse Prize for Comic Fiction—is an encouragement for which I am delighted and grateful."

The Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize will be awarded at the Hay Festival in Wales on Saturday. The famed literary festival kicks off Thursday and continues through June 1.

Advertisement
Advertisement