Dec 17 2013 8:16am

Bad Sex Awards in Fiction

Overblown scenes of passion don't exist only in romance books; earlier this month, the Literary Review awarded its annual bad sex prize to Manil Suri's book, The City of Devi. The prize was first bestowed in 1993 to “draw attention to crude, badly written, or perfunctory use of passages of sexual description in contemporary novels—and to discourage it'.”

Here's Suri's passage:

Surely supernovas explode that instant, somewhere, in some galaxy. The hut vanishes, and with it the sea and the sands – only Karun's body, locked with mine, remains. We streak like superheroes past suns and solar systems, we dive through shoals of quarks and atomic nuclei. In celebration of our breakthrough fourth star, statisticians the world over rejoice."

In response, the book's publishers urged readers to take the book with them to bed and decide for themselves. Previous prize winners include Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer, while John Updike received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

In romance, who might receive this award?


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1 comment
Kim Haynes
1. kahintenn
Stephanie Laurens, whose books I love, but who has only one way of writing about sex. And it involves short sentences. Without verbs. ack!
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