Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Julie Schumacher becomes first woman to win Thurber prize for humor writing

Schumacher won the comedy writing prize for her novel Dear Committee Members, becoming the first woman to win in its 20-year history 

Julie Schumacher.

Julie Schumacher: ‘I was somebody who thought books were hard and boring because I didn’t learn to read very easily.’ Photograph: Catherine Smith/Facebook
Julie Schumacher became the first female winner of the Thurber prize for American humor on Monday night, taking the prize for her epistolary novel Dear Committee Members. It was destined to be a historic night for the nearly 20-year-old award; all three of this year’s finalists were women.
The prize is award by the Thurber House, a literary center in James Thurber’s hometown that boasts the tagline “Where laughter, learning, and literature meet”. It is handed out at an annual ceremony at Carolines on Broadway in New York, one of the city’s best-known standup venues. (Past winners include Jon Stewart, David Sedaris, Christopher Buckley and Alan Zweibel.)

Schumacher’s winning novel depicts a midwestern professor whose life is glimpsed through the seemingly endless number of recommendation letters he is asked to write for colleagues, students and near strangers. While the book is technically fictional, Schumacher is herself a creative writing professor at the University of Minnesota, and, during her reading at the award ceremony, described the main character’s office as “bearing an odd resemblance to the building in which I work”.

No comments: