Nominations are in as the Literary Review prepares to announce the winner of the notorious ‘Bad Sex in Fiction’ prize, which aims to draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction.
Big-name authors James Frey and Haruki Murakami have made this year’s all male shortlist, which also includes Irish novelist Julian Gough for a passage in his novel Connect, spoof autobiography Scoundrels by “Major Victor Cornwall and Major Arthur St John Trevelyan”, Kismet by Luke Tredget, Grace’s Day by William Wall and The Paper Lovers by Gerard Woodward.
Murakami is usually found among the contenders for the Nobel prize in Literature and other prestigious literary accolades; yet in many ways, perhaps his nomination for the Bad Sex in Fiction award is his finest achievement.
Murakami was nominated for an extract of his novel Killing Commendatore, which reads:
“My ejaculation was violent, and repeated. Again and again, semen poured from me, overflowing her vagina, turning the sheets sticky. There was nothing I could do to make it stop. If it continued, I worried, I would be completely emptied out. Yuzu slept deeply through it all without making a sound, her breathing even. Her sex, though, had contracted around mine, and would not let go. As if it had an unshakeable will of its own and was determined to wring every last drop from my body.”
The prize is not intended to cover pornographic or expressly erotic literature. The winner of this year’s award will join a long line of illustrious authors – or not so illustrious, in the case of 2015’s winner, Morrissey – to have picked up the booby prize (pun intended, of course), which stretches back to 1993.
American author Christopher Bollen scooped the 2017 prize for his novel The Destroyers.
You can read extracts from all the Bad Sex in Fiction Award-winning books in our connoisseur’s compendium.
For more information about the award, visit the Literary Review website.
Nothing in the Rulebook will continue to monitor all updates relating to the Bad Sex in Fiction Awards with (possibly too much) interest.