The Literary Review has announced the nominees for its yearly Bad Sex Award, the prize awarded to the worst literary depictions of the carnal act.
Making this year’s shortlist are hipster author of choice; Haruki Murakami, master of horror; Stephen King, and the twice Booker nominated; Sebastian Barry.
The Bad Sex Award, now in its 19th year, counts among its previous winners such literary heavyweights as the enviably well-coiffured Melyvn Bragg, A. A Gill and Sebastian Faulks.
Rowan Somerville claimed last year’s award after winning over judge with lines such as: “Like a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin he screwed himself into her.”
The aim of the Bad Sex Award is, in the words of the Literary Review to, “draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use, or redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel and to discourage it”.
Perhaps mercifully the prize consciously ignores pornographic literature.
Among the favourites this year are Haruki Murakami (above), the Japanese author whose epic, 1Q84, contains a central female character called Fukaeri, and the line: “[Her breasts] seemed to be virtually uninfluenced by the force of gravity, the nipples turned beautifully upward, like a vine’s new tendrils seeking sunlight.”