15/06/2007 Winner of the 2007 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance
WINNER ANNOUNCED FOR THE FIRST
MELISSA NATHAN AWARD FOR COMEDY ROMANCE 2007
The winner of the inaugural Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance 2007 was announced at a reception held at the Magic Circle Headquarters in London on 13th June. The winner was:
Anybody Out There? By Marian Keyes (published by Michael Joseph)
The judges were: Comedian Jo Brand, author Joanna Trollope, actress Jessica Hynes (née Stevenson), Head Book Buyer for Tesco Gaynor Allen, and author Sophie Kinsella.
Based on criteria which Melissa drew up herself shortly before she died, the prize is open to writers of any age or gender, who have written a book first published in the UK during the calendar year 2006. This is the first time that a literary award has been established to recognise the genre of ‘comedy romance’. Its aim is to reward authors who can draw the two sections – ‘comedy’ and ‘romance’ – together in a way that is both compelling and natural.
The winner received a trophy and a cheque for £5,000.
About ‘Anybody Out There?’ by Marian Keyes
Publishing phenomenon Marian Keyes’ novel Anybody Out There? is a touching and funny account of Anna Walsh and her journey from her parents’ "Good Front Room" to the resumption of her life in New York where she was living with her gorgeous husband Aidan and had "The Best Job In The World’. Back in Manhattan Aidan seems to have vanished, but Anna seems him everywhere – walking down the street and passing by in a bus – so why won’t he return her calls?
Anybody Out There? tells the story of Dubliner Anna, the fourth of five Walsh sisters, the family readers have come to know and love in Marian Keyes’ previous books Watermelon, Rachel’s Holiday and Angels. We are also introduced to the life of the other Walsh sister Helen, whose job as a private investigator sees her hiding in bushes and getting caught up in the Dublin criminal underworld – with hilarious consequences! One thing's for sure, when the Walsh women get together there's no telling how things will turn out…
The other shortlisted books were: Barefoot in the Dark by Lynne Barrett-Lee (published by Accent Press); The Ex-Boyfriend’s Handbook by Matt Dunn (published by Pocket Books); The Cinderella Moment by Gemma Fox (published by HarperCollins); Making Your Mind Up by Jill Mansell (published by Headline); and The Rise and Fall of a Yummy Mummy by Polly Williams (published by Little, Brown).
Melissa Nathan’s novels are both heart-warmingly romantic and very, very funny. Her books The Nanny and The Waitress were also Sunday Times Top Ten bestsellers. Melissa’s second novel, Persuading Annie, will be re-issued by Arrow on August 2nd 2007.
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