McEwan wins prize for genre he 'hates'

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The Independent Culture

Best-selling author Ian McEwan has won an award for comic fiction.

His satirical novel about climate change, Solar, was deemed a "brilliantly funny book by a great writer" and awarded the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction.

The prize, in its 11th year, celebrates the novel that has best captured the comic spirit of PG Wodehouse. It is the UK's only literary award for comic writing.

It was the first time McEwan had made it on to this shortlist and as the winner he will be presented with a Gloucestershire Old Spot pig, named Solar. McEwan's bestsellers include Atonement and Enduring Love – which have been turned into films – and the Booker Prize-winning Amsterdam. He joins DBC Pierre in being the only authors to win both the Booker and the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse.

He will be introduced to the pig at the Hay literary festival later this week, where he will speak about his book with Peter Florence, prize judge and festival director. When McEwan gave the Hay audience a reading from his work-in-progress in 2008, he said: "I hate comic novels; it's like being wrestled to the ground and being tickled, being forced to laugh."

Florence has previously said that McEwan was a writer who was "never recognised for how funny he is".

In keeping with the best Bertie Wooster tradition, the author will also be presented with a jeraboam of champagne. David Campbell, judge and publisher of Everyman's Library, said: "It was an easy unanimous decision by the judges."

Pigs in previous years have received more unwieldy monikers, including A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, All Fun and Games until Somebody Loses an Eye, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

Tiffany Murray, David Nicholls, Paul Murray and Malcolm Pryce also made the 2010 shortlist.

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