The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama won the £5,000 (US$8,298) Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance. The Guardian reported that Zama, an IT director for an investment bank who wrote his book while riding on the train to work, "is the first man to win the award, and was the only male author on a shortlist of six."
"It's a little bit unusual that a man is writing in this genre," said Zama. "But my book is not a typical chick lit book. It's set in India, and deals with reasonably serious topics--but at heart it is a romantic novel. . . . In England at the moment there is a big divide between literary fiction and popular fiction. The fact that so many people do read for escape is an important factor that needs to be recognized. It doesn't mean that because something is comedy romance that the writing can't be good, or that deeper topics can't be addressed. It's just a matter of finding the balance."
The other shortlisted books were The Secret Shopper's Revenge by Kate Harrison, Bridesmaids by Jane Costello, Recipe for Disaster by Miriam Morrison, A Winter's Tale by Trisha Ashley and The Importance of Being Emma by Juliet Archer.