American humorist Simon Rich is perhaps best known for being the youngest member of Saturday Night Live’s talented team of writers. In recent years, however, he’s written more than television scripts – in 2007 he published Ant Farm: And Other Desperate Situations, a brilliant collection of short comedy bits, and 2010 saw the publication of his first novel Elliot Allagash. This fine debut is a coming-of-age story packed with Rich’s trademark humour, and has been smothered with genuine praise from American comedy-creating legend Judd Apatow: ‘I found Simon Rich's first novel, about an evil teenage billionaire, to be suspenseful and hilarious. I am so glad I don't have to lie in this blurb like I usually do’. Rich is a graduate of Harvard University and remains a popular SNL writer. Watch him discussing his new novel or read his interview on The Crimson website.
Rich’s novel Elliot Allagash was in the running for our inaugural Readers’ First Book Award in 2010. Each year, every one of the debut novels, novellas and short story collections appearing in our adult programme is entered into our First Book Award, and the winner is chosen by a public vote enabling readers to champion new fiction by voting for their favourite. Details of which authors are in the running for the award each year are announced here on our website when the Book Festival programme is launched in June.