Somerville was crowned overall winner of the prize, which celebrates crude or outlandish sexual passages in modern literature, for his second novel, The Shape of Her. The Irish author was presented with the 18th annual Bad Sex award by Michael Winner, the film director, at a lavish ceremony in London last night. There is nothing more English than bad sex, so on behalf of the entire nation I would like to thank you. The former spin doctor was also nominated in for his first novel, All in the Mind , but was pipped by Rachel Johnson, the sister of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
Literary Review’s Bad Sex in Fiction Award
Bad Sex Award: the shortlist | Fiction Writers Review
Alastair Campbell's depiction of a gauche sexual encounter in his debut novel All in the Mind has won him a place on the shortlist for the literary world's most dreaded honour: the Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction award. Run by the Literary Review, the bad sex awards were set up by Auberon Waugh "with the aim of gently dissuading authors and publishers from including unconvincing, perfunctory, embarrassing or redundant passages of a sexual nature in otherwise sound literary novels". The former spin doctor may take heart from the implication that his debut is an "otherwise sound literary novel". Campbell of course has some earlier practice in depicting sex, having written pornography for Forum magazine under the pseudonym the Riviera Gigolo early in his career, but a passage set on a bench has catapulted Campbell onto the list: "He wasn't sure where his penis was in relation to where he wanted it to be, but when her hand curled around it once more, and she pulled him towards her, it felt right," Campbell writes.
Bad Sex Award: Irish author Rowan Somerville beats Alastair Campbell
Literary Review covers the most important and interesting books published each month, from history and biography to fiction and travel. The magazine was founded in and is based in London. The award was presented by Nicky Haslam.
Has the award had its intended effect? Brazil — John Updike. Updike, otherwise known as the Susan Lucci of bad sex, was nominated four times without a win until he finally bagged the Lifetime Achievement award last year. His lengthy history of frank and graphic sex in works such as the Rabbit series, The Witches of Eastwick , and Couples which the Atlantic Monthly dubbed the most sexually explicit novel in memory has earned him a permanent place in the bad-sex stratosphere. Gently my arms surrounded [her], and I cupped my hands under her full, free-floating, honeydew breasts.