Wodehouse Prize: Nina Stibbe’s Reasons To Be Cheerful wins

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Nina Stibbe won this year’s Wodehouse Prize for her comic novel Reasons To Be Cheerful

The third and final entry in a semi-autobiographical trilogy has netted an author an annual award for the funniest book.

Nina Stibbe’s ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful’ clinched the 2019 Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction.

The Leicester-born writer had made the shortlist twice before.

The prize was not awarded last year after judges said the entries were not funny enough and failed to make them unanimously “laugh out loud”.

Ms Stibbe was previously shortlisted in 2015 with Man At The Helm and again in 2017 for Paradise Lodge.

The 57-year-old, now living in Cornwall, said she was “overjoyed” with the award.

Two rare breed pigs will be named Reasons and Cheerful after the winning novel.

“To win against such talented competition, to be honoured with the pigs and to go home with a family-sized bottle of Bolly and the complete works of Wodehouse is a dream come true for any writer,” Ms Stibbe said.

Novels by authors Jen Beagin, Kate Davies, Roddy Doyle, Lissa Evans and Paul Ewen were also shortlisted.

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Getty Images/Hulton Archive

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The annual prize is given to the book considered to best capture the comic spirit of PG Wodehouse

The book, set in 1980, follows 18-year-old Lizzie Vogel who moves away from her family home to Leicester to become a dental nurse.

One of the judges, David Campbell, said: “Reasons To Be Cheerful is a moving and funny pitch-perfect romp that takes us back to the 1980s.”

Ms Stibbe joins 19 previous winners including Helen Fielding, Hannah Rothschild, Howard Jacobson, Terry Pratchett and Will Self.

The prize is given annually to the book considered to best capture the comic spirit of PG Wodehouse, who died at the age of 93 in 1975.

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