Who’s Afraid of the Booker Prize?


Winner of the 2015 Quagga Prize for Literary Fiction.

For Alistair Wye, assistant to ‘top’ novelist Marshall Zob, Zob makes just two mistakes. First, he plans a commemorative book celebrating the life and work of his dead mentor, John Andrew Glaze, whose theory of ‘literary time’ is of dubious philosophical pedigree. Second, Zob turns the whole literary world on its head through the size of advance he instructs his agent to negotiate for his latest, and most mediocre novel to date. Secretly Wye keeps a diary of Zob’s professional and private life. Comic, resolute, Wye stalks through its every page, scattering his pearls with an imperious hand, while an unsuspecting Zob ensures perfect conditions for the chronicles satire. Set in the relatively safe remove of London’s beau monde in the early 1990s, Who’s Afraid of the Booker Prize? unremittingly debunks the phenomenon of literary celebrity. The plot revolves round a researcher working through an archive of computer discs, emails and faxes, and his own diary recording his reactions to life in proximity of bookish heavyweight Marshall Zob. It’s a roaring satire, in the best English comedic tradition.

Rights Information

World rights available excluding UK print.


Winner of the 2015 Quagga Prize for Literary Fiction.


Review by David James. An 'absolute gem' according to one Amazon review.

Author Biography

Peter Cowlam is a poet, novelist and playwright. His brief stint as a commissioning editor saw two issues of The Finger, a journal of politics, literature and culture. His novel Who’s Afraid of the Booker Prize? won the 2015 Quagga Prize for Literary Fiction. His latest novels are New King Palmers and Across the Rebel Network, the latter being longlisted for the Guardian 2015 Not the Booker Prize. Poems forthcoming in Fulcrum. Poems and short stories have appeared in The Battersea Review, Literary Matters, The Brown Boat, The Criterion, Valparaiso Fiction Review, The Four Quarters Magazine, Ink, Sweat & Tears, The Liberal, Horizon Review and Epicentre Magazine.

Bibliographic Information
  • Pub date: April 2013
  • English
  • 9781902086057
  • United Kingdom
  • Paperback
  • Primary Price: 9.99 GBP
  • Pages: 270
  • CentreHouse Press
  • Readership: General
  • Publish State: Published
  • Edition: First
  • Copyright Information:

    Copyright (c) 2013, Peter Cowlam.

  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 inches