"Droll, savvy and soulful": five new funny writers who"ll make you laugh

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I’m always surprised when people suggest the golden age for comic writing was the era of Amis (father or son), or Wodehouse, or even Swift. The genre has never been as healthy or as vibrant as it is now, largely because more young women, such as Sloane Crosley, Negin Farsad and Phoebe Robinson, are writing comedy than ever before, and they’re from a larger variety of backgrounds. The celebrity memoir has been rejuvenated by writers such as Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling and Sarah Silverman, rescuing the genre from PR-approved garbage and turning it into comedic essays.


Meanwhile, the comic novel has had a boom in the last 20 years, even if the sneerers disparage it with terms like “chick lit” and “lad lit”. And the papers have never been so full of such smart and funny writing, thanks to young writers, including the Washington Post’s hilarious Alexandra Petrie and the New Yorker’s droll and smart Naomi Fry. Comic writing is no longer the preserve of old white men writing chortlesome chapters before having lunch at their club; it is everywhere.


David Sedaris


Unquestionably the king of comic writing, and his new collection of essays, Calypso, is both funnier and more heartbreaking than pretty much anything out there.


Patricia Lockwood


An exciting new voice. Her memoir, Priestdaddy, which came out last year, will stay in your brain for ever.


Simon Rich


A comic writer from the old school. Rich might still look like a teenager, but sometimes seems as if he’s from the 1940s. A smarty-pants, and funny with it.


Sally Rooney


One of the big hits last year was Rooney’s debut novel, Conversations with Friends. Droll and dry, savvy and soulful – and there’s a new one on the way.


Caitlin Moran


Moran has long been a power house when it comes to comic writing and her novels are as confident as her journalism. Her books will make you snort your tea.

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