Edward St. Aubyn’s Lost For Words (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) parodies the upsurge of interest in literary prizes, or, rather, the minority sport of literary fiction. What do prizes have to do with literature, and are the books that win ones we should read? Here, we find Aubyn the witty mimic: from genre to character-type. He says he wanted to see whether he could find writing simply, purely pleasurable, which is a move away from the contract he held with himself while writing his earlier Patrick Melrose novels. Lost For Words is more a comedy than a satire: for all the parody held within its pages, it ends in a cheerful glow.
Photo by Alex Pieros