Magazine Awards Annual "Bad Sex in Fiction Award"

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Categories: Books

A U.S. writer has been awarded this year’s not-so-coveted “Bad Sex in Fiction Award” from Literary Review magazine.

Jonathan Littell, the bestselling author of a 900-page epic titled “The Kindly Ones,” took home the grand prize for a passage from the novel that compared female genitalia with various ancient Greek monsters, including “a motionless Cyclops whose single eye never blinks.”

The annual award is presented to an author who produces the worst or funniest description of sex in a modern novel. In previous years, literary greats like Tom Wolfe and Norman Mailer have received the award. In 2008, John Updike won the Bad Sex Lifetime Achievement Award for having been nominated a total of four times in the award’s history.

Littell’s novel, which is a fictional memoir of a former Nazi officer, also included a passage depicting a sex act as “a jolt that emptied my head like a spoon scraping the inside of a soft-boiled egg.”

The magazine says that the purpose of the award is to “gently dissuade authors and publishers from including unconvincing, perfunctory, embarrassing or redundant passages of a sexual nature in otherwise sound literary novels.”


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