New York Times book critic David Kelly asked his fellow Times' writers to name the funniest novel ever, and he noted that not a single female author was nominated. "Where are the female nominees?" Kelly wonders. "Someone here mentioned Jane Austen, but only halfheartedly and only after I pointed out that not a single novel by a woman had been proposed. What gives?" Mediabistro says that Times commenters mention Paula Fox, Eudora Welty, and Stella Gibbons as some of the funniest female novelists, and best-selling writer Jennifer Weiner says that Helen Fielding, Gail Parent and Nora Ephron make her chortle.I agree with the Ephron choice (Heartburn is a must read), and would like to add 1984 Pulitzer Prize winner Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie, and many things by Anne Lamott, who has been tenderly funny although slightly less so ever since she found Jesus. What fiction-writing females would you nominate for funniest novel ever? What's The Funniest Novel Ever? [NY Times] Hitchens Take Heart: NYTBR Also Finds Women Unfunny [Mediabistro] Monday, September 15, 2008 [Moment Of Jen]
I love Jane Smiley. I've loved her since I was stuck on an island in Honduras with nothing to read. It was beautiful, but painful. The only book (in English) that I could find was The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton. Oh, how I sobbed. Oh, how I laughed.
I've recently been reading a lot of Ngaio Marsh. She's wonderful. And very, very funny. Does anyone else read Marsh anymore?
Just me then.