Bad Sex In Fiction Award nominees all male.

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From here:

Franco-American author Jonathan Littell has won the Bad Sex In Fiction Award for a book that had previously scooped France’s top literary award.

“The Kindly Ones”, a World War II saga originally published in French under the title “Les Bienveillantes”, won the Prix Goncourt in 2006 but it was only translated into English this year.

Judges at the London-based Literary Review magazine awarded Littell the tongue-in-cheek award on Monday for prose describing sex as “a jolt that emptied my head like a spoon scraping the inside of a soft-boiled egg.”

He emerged victorious from a field including literary heavyweights Philip Roth (“The Humbling”), Paul Theroux (“A Dead Hand”) and rock star Nick Cave (“The Death of Bunny Munro”).

Cave described nipples which were “the size and texture of liquorice Jelly Spogs” and at one point a character in the book pleads with her partner to “pray, pray at my portal.”

In Roth’s work, one character “appoints herself ringmaster and would not participate until summoned.”

The Literary Review noted that both Littell and Roth incorporated mythology into their sex scenes — the winner used images of “a Gorgon’s head” and “a motionless Cyclops.” …

It’s hard to miss the misogyny in those authors’ works. A negative view of women leads to bad sex writing, as well as bad sex generally.

–Ann Bartow

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3 Responses to Bad Sex In Fiction Award nominees all male.

  1. efink says:

    Difficult to believe that Nick Cave didn’t win. The quotes from him are truly horrendous. Though the bit about the soft-boiled (is that a giveaway right there?) egg is likewise pretty awful.

  2. GudrunBrangwen says:

    Difficult to believe Cave was nominated in my opinion. Yes, the excerpts are just as ridiculous as everyone is saying; but they’re meant to be. It’s a dark comedy. The main character is a sex addict, who has multiple disturbing and distasteful sexual encounters over the course of the book. The scenes are partly from Bunny Munro’s point of view, and none of them are supposed to read as sexy or arousing. Descriptions such as “nipples like liquorice jelly spogs” are meant to show his extreme obsession with female body parts.

    As the book progresses, the reader realizes more and more that Bunny is not just a philanderer, but a sexist and sexual predator who’s deeply sick. “It’s hard to miss the misogyny in those authors’ works”? I read it as a powerful *critique* of misogyny, since it reveals the bizarre mindset that would lead a man to victimize women (while thinking all the while that he’s a charming playboy, as Bunny does throughout the book).

    I haven’t read these other books so I can’t speak about them. But using tacky, over-the-top language doesn’t always equal “bad writing,” since authors often use irony or speak in their characters’ voices.

  3. Pingback: Sex Writing FAIL: Chatty Condoms, Dripping Oysters, and One Bullet-proof Pussy « Kittywampus

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