Zoo Time By Howard Jacobson Wins British Comic Fiction Prize

May 16, 2013

“The Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize is the UK’s only literary award for comic writing. Celebrating novels in the spirit of P G Wodehouse, the prize prides itself on discovering true comic gems – from Paul Torday’s Salmon Fishing in the Yemen to Marina Lewycka’s A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian and DBC Pierre’s Vernon God Little. Sponsored by Champagne Bollinger, the lucky winner of the prize can expect a jeroboam of Bollinger, as well as a set of the Everyman Wodehouse collection and – in true Wodehousian style – a local pig named after their winning novel.”  Everyman’s Library

The 2013 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize was awarded to Howard Jacobson for Zoo Time. This is Jacobson’s second Wodehouse; he won the Prize in 2000 for The Mighty Walzer. Upon hearing of the recent triumph he said, “This is the only literary prize that actively seeks out and rewards comedy,” Jacobson said. “Other prizes often view it as sort of embarrassing writerly malfunction – which is treacherous, in my view, when you consider the comic origins of the novel and the strong comedic traditions of English writing in particular.”

The other novels shortlisted:

Skios by Michael Frayn
England’s Lane by Joseph Connolly
Heartbreak Hotel by Deborah Moggach
Lightning Rods by Helen DeWitt

Previous winners:

The Mighty Walzer by Howard Jacobson (2000)

The Rotter’s Club by Jonathan Coe (2001)

Spies by Michael Frayn (2002)

Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre (2003)

The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde (2004)

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka (2005)

All Fun and Games until Somebody Loses an Eye by Christopher Brookmyre (2006)

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday (2007)

The Butt by Will Self (2008)

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi by Geoff Dyer (2009)

Solar by Ian McEwan (2010)

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart (2011)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett (2012)