Entertainment & Arts

Scottish duo up for comic fiction prize

Alexander McCall Smith and Irvine Welsh Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption McCall Smith and Welsh are nominated for Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party and A Decent Ride respectively

Scottish authors Alexander McCall Smith and Irvine Welsh are among six writers nominated for an award celebrating the year's funniest books.

Comedienne Helen Lederer, columnist Caitlin Moran and Ireland's Joseph O'Neill are also up for this year's Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize.

The award is presented at the Hay Festival to the book thought to best capture PG Wodehouse's comic spirit.

Former nanny Nina Stibbe completes this year's shortlist.

As part of the prize, the winner is presented with a Gloucestershire Old Spot pig which is named after the winning novel.

The shortlisted novels are:

  • Losing It, Lederer's debut novel about a divorced TV personality asked to be the public face of a new diet pill
  • Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party, McCall Smith's book about a married couple who travel to Ireland to celebrate a birthday
  • How to Build a Girl, Moran's coming-of-age novel about a 14-year-old girl growing up in 1990s Wolverhampton
  • The Dog, O'Neill's story of a New York attorney offered a tempting job opportunity in Dubai
  • Men at the Helm, Stibbe's novel about a family who move to the English countryside after a divorce
  • A Decent Ride, Welsh's 10th novel, which catches up with a character first seen in his 2001 novel Glue

"These astonishingly gifted writers can turn phrases, create characters to love and rattle good yarns," said Hay Festival founder Peter Florence.

The winner will be announced shortly before this year's festival opens on 21 May.

Previous recipients of the prize include the late Sir Terry Pratchett, Will Self and Howard Jacobson, who won the inaugural prize in 2000 and again in 2013.

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