Overwrought Erotica: Bad Sex in Fiction Award

The Literary Review as once again “released” the nominees for the the 18th annual Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award which rewards “poorly written, redundant or crude passages” depicting sex in fiction. Recognize any names on this list?

  • 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)

The award will be presented to the winner on the 29th November at a ceremony at the In & Out Club in St. James’s Square, London UK. Last year’s winner was The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell (Chatto & Windus).

Here’s the winning (?) excerpt:

Una had stretched out on the bed of the guillotine; I lifted the lunette, made her put her head through it, and closed it on her long neck, after carefully lifting her heavy hair. She was panting. I tied her hands behind her back with my belt, then raised her skirt. I didn’t even bother to lower her panties, just pushed the lace to one side and spread her buttocks with both hands: in the slit, nestling in hair, her anus gently contracted. I spit on it. ‘No,’ she protested. I took out my penis, lay on top of her, and thrust it in. She gave a long stifled cry. I was crushing her with all my weight; because of the awkward position – my trousers were hindering my legs – I could only move in little jerks. Leaning over the lunette, my own neck beneath the blade, I whispered to her: ‘I’m going to pull the lever, I’m going to let the blade drop.’ She begged me: ‘Please, fuck my pussy.’ – ‘No.’ I came suddenly, a jolt that emptied my head like a spoon scraping the inside of a soft-boiled egg.