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Lionel Shriver hits out at prizes and publishers

9th June 2010

Prize-winning author Lionel Shriver has fired criticism at literary awards, the publishing industry and some bestselling writers.

In an interview with the Independent, the We Need To Talk About Kevin writer said organisations that hand out more than one literary award run the risk of making their prizes 'meaningless'.

She added: 'It's a stupid thing to have more than one winner; it's deluding and it means nobody wins.'

The writer also slammed the publishing industry for being capricious and said she sometimes finds it difficult to offer words of encouragement to aspiring novelists, as the odds of success are stacked against them

In addition, Shriver told the newspaper that some bestselling authors have resigned themselves to churning out books that 'aren't very good' and cited Bret Easton Ellis as an example, saying his latest work Imperial Bedrooms is 'ghastly'.

Her criticism of literary prizes follows comments by Money author Martin Amis at the Hay Festival. He claimed that awards are dominated by 'unenjoyable' novels, as judges assume such books must be tackling serious themes, the Daily Telegraph reported.

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