It would be hard to parody this account of a literary prize gathering on Mauritius. It self-parodies so well one is suspicious if such a prize even exists. The animadversions against "modern" literature in The Fountainhead pale by comparison. So I sent the following letter to the editors of the Independent:
I just wanted to make sure you knew how much I enjoyed Tracy Macleod's satire on literary prize competitions. I laughed till I cried. Books which have "love at their spine"!! Please, stop!! "A Glaswegian painter-decorator"! "Lesbian love in a shabby-genteel Oxford"!! "love between an ageing gay composer, his dog and a brutal Bosnian interloper."!!! That last one, if I may criticize, is where Macleod went a little over the top. I mean, come on. Bosnians are always victims. Oh, wait a minute, maybe he was a Bosnian Serb. Then that would be OK. But Macleod overdoes it again with "it's smart to be intelligent". I needed my heart pills after that one. The Aberdonian Travelodge was also a bit much, but all in all I haven't enjoyed such a brutal yet humorous savaging of literary pretensions since The Fountainhead. Thanks again.