‘Grandmother’ Wins First Novel Competition

By Kathryn Comment

Last September, GC reported that Richard & Judy, building on the success of their book club, would host a first novel competition — its winner almost certainly guaranteed a red carpet stroll up the UK’s bestseller lists. Now, four months later, we finally learn who that lucky winner is: Christine Aziz, or — as the Independent and Guardian choose to name her in their ledes — ‘a 52-year-old grandmother‘ from Bournemouth.

Both papers go on to establish Aziz’s life as hard-knocked-and-miniseries-ready, listing Aziz’s previous, often low-paying, occupations: dental receptionist, singer, cleaning lady, factory packer, etc. And, in case readers missed the point, the Independent drops both the amount of Aziz’s advance (£50,000) and the age she left school (15) into the same sentence, for extra-special contrast.

Unreported, however, are Aziz’s many successes as a journalist, with regular bylines in the Independent and other well-known publications. But a good resume just doesn’t have the cue the talk show’s Muzak-punch of ’52-year-old grandmother,’ does it?