Friday, May 28, 2010

Ian McEwan brings home bacon with comic novel Solar

Booker winner bags pig and champagne for 'laugh-out-loud' climate change novel

Ian McEwan's trophy cabinet has heretofore been home to more serious awards, but the Booker prize-winning author will today be making room on the shelves for his first comic-fiction accolade, won for his take on climate change, Solar.

The novel was chosen unanimously from a shortlist of five books to win the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for comic fiction. "I hope he'll be really, really pleased," said judge and director of the Guardian Hay festival, Peter Florence. McEwan claimed at the festival two years ago: "I hate comic novels; it's like being wrestled to the ground and being tickled, being forced to laugh."

McEwan, though, said today he was "delighted" to win the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse, "three names associated with distinctive and important pleasures".

"Some prizes offer fifty thousand pounds, but this one comes with a Gloucester Old Spot piglet attached and I'll be honoured to hold it in my arms. As long as it behaves," the author added.

Florence said Solar provided many moments of "laugh-out-loud" humour, thanks to McEwan's "beautiful phrasing" and "descriptions of infidelity and intimate personal details". Florence said that despite McEwan's "macabre and serious" reputation, he'd "always found there are moments of amazing humour in lots of his books, even The Child in Time. He's so precise with his language and he makes his point so brilliantly with humour. In Solar, there's this wonderful, bloated, chaotic man, just like our planet, hurtling to his destruction, taking no responsibility for himself at all, and it's a gloriously funny idea."

- Alison Flood,

Read the rest of the article here.

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