2019 - Shortlisted
The Helen 100, poison-penned by writer, broadcaster and reluctant online discount advertiser Helen Razer, is not a book for the faint-hearted or faint-stomached. Part memoir, part Cosmo sealed section, part self-help through self-abuse manual, The Helen 100 destroys everything Elizabeth Gilbert has built in just 305 pages.
Helen’s partner of fifteen years dumps her via Facebook, announcing that she needs to grow. After a period of lying on the floor with her cat and a BBQ chicken, Helen takes her waxer’s advice and decides to heal herself by embarking on 100 dates and getting “nailed like the rotten wooden harlot that I am”.
Razer shares her love, loss and crippling sorrow in writing so raw that it’s still bleeding. She walks the fine line between tragedy and comedy, with deft observational humour mixed with savage self-deprecation (and deprecation of just about everyone else), in writing sharper than her homophone and twice as cutting. She is the lovechild of Dorothy Parker and Mae West, with Karl Marx roped into donor duties.
The Helen 100 is a book for those who have loved unwisely and unwell, who have lost and, most importantly, who can laugh.