Released on 18 June 2015.

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Lost For Words

3.26 based on 2056 ratings & 381 reviews on

2015 Long-listed

The Folio Prize

2014 Winner

Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize


Each of the judges of the Elysian Prize for literature has a reason for accepting the job. For the chairman, MP Malcolm Craig, it is backbench boredom, media personality Jo Cross is on the hunt for a 'relevant' novel, and Oxbridge academic Vanessa Shaw is determined to discover good writing. But for Penny Feathers of the Foreign Office, it's all just getting in the way of writing her own thriller. Over the next few weeks they must read hundreds of submissions to find the best book of the year, and so the judges spar, cajole and bargain in order that their chosen title gets the recognition it deserves.

Meanwhile, a host of authors are desperate for Elysian glory, including brilliant writer and serial heart-breaker Katherine Burns, lovelorn debut novelist Sam Black, and Sonny, convinced that his magnum opus, The Mulberry Elephant, will take the literary world by storm.

Lost for Words is razor-sharp and fabulously entertaining. It cuts to the quick of some of the deepest questions about the place of art in our celebrity-obsessed culture, and asks how we can ever hope to recognize real talent when everyone has an agenda.

In the media

Lost for Words is a witty, often excoriating, riposte to the phenomenon and workings of major book awards
St Aubyn's latest novel is an entertaining satire on the literary-prize industry, full of splendid jokes
This will make you chuckle aloud
Country & Town House