Reasons to be Cheerful
Winner of the 2019 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction
by Nina Stibbe
Pub Date 28 Mar 2019
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'Funny, charming, odd-in-the-best-way and gorgeously uplifting! A delight from start to finish' Marian Keyes
'I read all of Reasons To Be Cheerful in one glorious gulp' Caitlin Moran
'When people in the village heard I was about to start working in the city they tried to unsettle me with tales of woe. The sun, blotted out by the tall buildings, couldn't shine and the rain was poisoned by the toxic fumes that poured from the sock factories. My skin would be covered in pimples from the hell of it all'
So begins a young woman's journey to adulthood. Lizzie Vogel leaves her alcoholic, novel-writing mother and heads for Leicester to work for a racist, barely competent dentist obsessed with joining the freemasons.
Soon Lizzie is heading reluctantly, if at top speed, into the murky depths of adult life: where her driving instructor becomes her best friend; her first boyfriend prefers birdwatching to sex and where independence for a teenage girl might just be another word for loneliness.
In Reasons to Be Cheerful Nina Stibbe shows her extraordinary gift for illuminating the vital details which make us human. She is that rare writer who makes us laugh whilst reminding us of the joy, and the pain, of being alive.
'This made me laugh and broke my heart . . . Stibbe is one of the all time greats' Daisy Buchanan
'Stibbe is one of the great comic writers of our time' Irish Times
'Pitch perfect vintage comedy' Guardian
'Lives up to its title' Sunday Times
'Stibbe's comedy probes what it means to become an adult, and how we form our financial, sexual, moral and political selves' Daily Telegraph
'The literary love child of Victoria Wood and Alan Bennett...this is pure laughing gas' Mail on Sunday
'Loved it! I so love Lizzie. She is brave and kind and funny and totally original . . . I couldn't have liked it more (as I think Noel Coward said.)' Katie Fforde
'There is innocence, and the loss of innocence, and the reassertion of a wider and better sort of innocence.' Guardian
'Another great from Nina Stibbe' Kathy Burke
'Very few writers can find the delicate balance between heartbreak and hilarity like Nina Stibbe' Red Magazine
'Reasons To Be Cheerful is just the read you need right now, seamlessly weaving together the big themes of life with charm and warmth' Stylist
'Nina Stibbe is an author of such effortless wit that she could turn a shopping list into a bestseller' Isabelle Broom, Women and Home