John Kenney wins Thurber humor prize

John Kenney’s Truth in Advertising, a satirical novel about the meaning of corporate life, has won the Thurber Prize for American Humor.

Kenney was to receive the award at a ceremony Tuesday night at the New York comedy venue Carolines on Broadway. The award includes a cash prize of $5,000.

Among the finalists was David Letterman for his collaboration with illustrator Bruce McCall, the picture book This Land Was Made for You and Me (But Mostly Me). The other nominee was New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly’s Women on Men.

The award is named for the author and illustrator James Thurber. Previous winners of the award include Jon Stewart, Calvin Trillin and the editorial staff of The Onion.


The author of the story collection Godforsaken Idaho has won a $25,000 prize.

Shawn Vestal is the winner of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for debut fiction. He received the award Monday at a New York ceremony organized by the PEN American Center, the literary and human rights organization.

PEN judges in their citation praised Vestal for his blend of genres from fantasy to historical fiction and his ability to bring new energy to “the well-trodden arena of the hapless male.”

Vestal is an Idaho native and a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington. He also has written a short memoir, A.K.A. Charles Abbott.

The Associated Press