Monday, June 01, 2009

Geoff Dyer wins Wodehouse prize for comic fiction
Gloucestershire Old Spot pig will be named in honour of Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi
Alison Flood writing in the,

Rib tickler ... Geoff Dyer. Photograph: Jason Oddy/PR

PG Wodehouse might have steered clear of curse words – "by Jove" was probably his limit – but Geoff Dyer has won the prize which bears his name with Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, a raucous novel full of profanities that was hailed by the judges as summoning up the "spirit of Wodehouse".
A pair of twinned novellas, the book tells of two 40-something men, both looking for love and existential meaning – one at the Venice Art Biennale, one on the banks of the Ganges in Varanasi. It was named winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for comic fiction this evening at the Guardian Hay festival, where Dyer received the traditional prize of vintage champagne and a set of Wodehouse novels, as well as the honour of a locally-bred Gloucestershire Old Spot pig being named after his winning novel. Restrictions on animal movements meant that for the second year running, the winner wasn't able to meet the newly christened pig, though there was no repeat of last year's early announcement, when Will Self was described as winner in the 2008 festival programme.
Read the full story here.

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