June 1, 2012
Terry Pratchett wins book award, booze, pig
by Nick Davies
Earlier this week, prolific fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett won the UK’s only prize for comic writing, the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize. In addition to the prestige and recognition that comes with winning such an award, the Wodehouse comes with a jeroboam of champagne (since Bollinger is a sponsor), 52 volumes of the Everyman Wodehouse collection, and the unique honor of having a Gloucestershire Old Spot pig named after the winning book—in this case Snuff, the 39th novel in Pratchett’s Discworld series.
The Discworld books satirize the fantasy genre, as well as mythology, fairy tales, politics, and pop culture, with a range of supernatural or otherworldly characters including wizards, witches, dwarves, and vampires, many of whom recur in multiple books, as sort of series within the series. New installments regularly top the Sunday Times bestseller list in the UK—in fact, Pratchett was the UK’s bestselling author in the 1990s, and it took the Harry Potter series to knock him out of the top spot. Snuff centers on Sam Vimes, a gruff detective who has been the protagonist in eight of Pratchett’s books and appeared in several others. In this lastest novel, he stumbles upon a murder mystery while trying to enjoy his vacation; it’s been praised as “a highly readable, mature comedy” by the Telegraph.
The Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize has been given out at the Telegraph’s Hay Festival every year since 2000, and goes to the book that best captures the spirit of humorist P.G. Wodehouse. It’s judged by author & broadcaster James Naughtie, Everyman’s Library publisher David Campbell, and the director of the Hay Festival, Peter Florence. Recent winners include Ian McEwan in 2010 for Solar, and Gary Shteyngart in 2011 for Super Sad True Love Story, the first American to claim the prize and attendant pig. Sir Pratchett will be at the Hay Festival in Wales on June 6 to accept his prize, speak about his distinguished career, and take a celebratory photo with the Gloucestershire Old Spot named Snuff.
Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.