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Bad Sex Award 2010


Bad sex in Fiction Award 2010

Rowan Somerville is the winner of the eighteenth annual Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award. The prize was awarded for passages from his second novel, The Shape of Her.

'There is nothing more English than bad sex,' said Somerville, whose first novel was also shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. 'So on behalf of the nation, I thank you.' The judges' minds were made up by sentences such as: 'Like a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin he screwed himself into her.' And ‘He unbuttoned the front of her shirt and pulled it to the side so that her breast was uncovered, her nipple poking out, upturned like the nose of the loveliest nocturnal animal, sniffing the night. He took it between his lips and sucked the salt from her.'

The award was established in 1993 by the late Auberon Waugh to draw attention to the 'crude, tasteless, and often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in contemporary novels, and to discourage it'.

Somerville narrowly defeated Alastair Campbell, nominated not for his political diaries but his novel Maya. The judges felt his naked enthusiasm for winning disqualified him.

Bad Sex award