This year’s $5,000 Thurber Prize is down to three contenders. They are: Why is My Mother Getting a Tattoo: And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had to Ask by Jancee Dunn, How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely, and Mennonite in a Little Black Dress (a Memoir of Going Home) by Rhoda Janzen.
This group of authors is a diverse bunch. While in college Hely served as president of the Harvard Lampoon, the university’s famous humor magazine. He currently writes alongside SNL veteran Tina Fey on her series, 30 Rock. Dunn has had an extensive career in magazine journalism having worked on Rolling Stone, Vogue, and Jane. For five years, she wrote under the pseudonym Dr. Sooth as a sex columnist for GQ. Janzen holds a PhD from UCLA and is currently an English professor at Hope College.
The Thurber Prize is now in its 26th year, named after the humorist James Thurber (pictured). The winner will receive $5,000 and a crystal plaque. GalleyCat reported when the 2009 Thurber Prize was awarded to Ian Frazier for his work, Lamentations of the Father. He is a two-time winner of the prize; in 1997 he won for the title, Coyote vs. Acme.