Continuing our series of Desmond Elliott Prize alumni’s favourite debuts, this week we have 2015 judge Viv Groskop.

“My favourite debut has to be The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I read it when I was about sixteen which is, I think, the perfect age to discover it. It represents the qualities a lot of great debuts embody: originality, freshness, urgency of voice and, of course, an intriguing dose of are-they-or-aren’t-they-real semi-autobiographical elements. It was an explosion of intimacy, pain and self-obsession that my blew my little teenage mind.”

Viv Groskop is a writer, stand-up comedian and presenter. I Laughed, I Cried (Orion), her 2013 memoir about her journey from journalist to stand-up comedian by doing 100 gigs in 100 consecutive nights, received rave reviews. On television she appears regularly on BBC2‘s Newsnight, BBC1 Breakfast and Sky News paper review. She’s a popular fixture on BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends, Woman’s Hour, Front Row, Saturday Live and Saturday Review.

Find her on Twitter @VivGroskop.