Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Insectile Prose Tops Bad Sex in Fiction Award

The competition was tense for a while, but it’s all over now: the winner of the Literary Review’s Bad Sex in Fiction Award for 2010 is Irish author Rowan Somerville who likely won for a sentence the judges said they were particularly impressed by:
“Like a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin he screwed himself into her.”
According to The Telegraph, there was more where that came from:
Other amorous passages in The Shape of Her contained a female body part “upturned like the nose of the loveliest nocturnal animal, sniffing the night” and described how one character “twisted onto her belly like a fish flipping itself”.
To win the 2010 award, Somerville beat out seven other authors, Jonathan Franzen (Freedom) and Annabel Lyon (The Golden Mean) among them.

The Telegraph reports that previous winners have included Norman Mailer, Sabastian Faulks and Tom Wolfe and in 2008, John Updike was awarded a lifetime achievement award “after being shortlisted for the dubious accolade four times.”

The Telegraph piece is here. The 2010 shortlist is here:

Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen (4th Estate)
The Slap, by Christos Tsiolkas (Atlantic Books)
The Golden Mean, by Annabel Lyon (Atlantic Books)
Maya, by Alastair Campbell (Hutchinson)
A Life Apart, by Neel Mukherjee (Constable & Robinson)
Heartbreak, by Craig Raine (Atlantic Books)
The Shape of Her, by Rowan Somerville (W&N)
Mr Peanut, by Adam Ross (Jonathan Cape)



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