‘Paperboy’ by Christopher Fowler has won the Green Carnation prize for gay men’s fiction and memoirs.

The novel recounts the author’s lonely early years in suburban London and was described by judges as a “rich and astute evocation of a time and a place [recalling] a childhood at once eccentric and endearingly ordinary”.

Paul Magrs, the chair of the judges for 2010 and the founder of the award, said: “Paperboy is about the forming of a gay sensibility – but more than that, it’s about the growth of a reader and a wonderfully generous and inventive writer.

“It’s a great wodge of social history – of back-to-back houses, plasticine models and exercise books, and how Lois Lane’s adventures were always more interesting than Superman’s. It’s modest, funny and brilliant.”

The Green Carnation prize, which has no cash value, was set up this year and recognises work by gay men.

It was initially called the ‘Man Fooker’ prize but organisers decided to name it after the green carnation won by Oscar Wilde.