Ian McEwan sees funny side of Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize nomination
The writer Ian McEwan, right, whose brooding novels led him to acquire the nickname of "Ian Macabre" early in his career, is not normally associated with the upper-class humorist P G Wodehouse – not least because he once stated: "I hate comic novels". But yesterday his latest work of fiction, Solar, was deemed to capture "the comic spirit of Wodehouse" as it was shortlisted for a comic fiction award.
McEwan's novel, which was among the nominations for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize announced yesterday, focuses on an ageing Nobel prize winning scientist whose glory days are long behind him, but who still hopes to save the planet from the threat of climate change. It was inspired by a trip McEwan made in 2005 as part of an expedition of artists and scientists who spent several weeks aboard a ship near the North Pole to discuss environmental concerns.
Speaking about the writing of Solar in 2008, McEwan denied that the novel was a comedy. "I hate comic novels; it's like being wrestled to the ground and being tickled, being forced to laugh," he said. But he did concede that the book had extended comic stretches. His previous novels have tackled the weighty topics of love and betrayal in wartime Britain, the Iraq war and sexual inadequacy.
Other nominations for the prize include David Nicholls' One Day, Tiffany Murray's Diamond Star Halo, Paul Murray's Skippy Dies, and Malcolm Pryce's From Aberystwyth with Love, the latest in his series about the Welsh town's only private detective.
Arts & Ents blogs
Even though there was a complete absence of our favourite odd couple Brienne and Jaime, we got anoth...
If you had any doubt where Binky gets her brilliantly brassy disregard for social graces, episode se...
Kate Simko is a lady who has constantly worked towards to pushing herself musically. Though she make...
- 1 The ‘Beverly Hills’ of Surrey pays more income tax than big cities of the North
- 2 Austerity has hardened the nation's heart
- 3 Tottenham to smash pay scale with £150,000-a-week contract in attempt to tie Gareth Bale to club
- 4 The moral case on tax avoidance is overwhelming - and we all know Google wants to do the right thing
- 5 Sam Wallace: The second coming of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea will be a reunion that can only end in tears
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.