Bad Sex in Fiction finalists: Tom Wolfe yes, J.K. Rowling no

Tom Wolfe, author of “Back to Blood”
Tom Wolfe, author of “Back to Blood”
(Little, Brown and Co.)

It’s Bad Sex Day on the Internet today.

Of course, every day is bad sex day on the Internet. But today’s bad sex is actually enjoyable, and it arrives via the respected Literary Review of London and its Bad Sex in Fiction Award. Call it coitus ridiculous. It’s sex that’s so bad as to be laughable, in a delightfully literary kind of way.

Eight authors were named finalists for the Bad Sex in Fiction award Tuesday. All the buzz is that J.K. Rowling didn’t make the cut. Rowling’s “The Literary Vacancy” was a favorite to walk away with the award, in part for a passage in which a vulva and Santa Claus manage to squeeze themselves into the same sentence.

Instead the committee went back to at least one old favorite, nominating previous winner Tom Wolfe for his novel, “Back to Blood,” which includes the crashing metaphors in this description of an allegedly aroused woman: “the flood in her loins washed morals, despair and all other abstract assessments away in a cloud of some sort of divine cologne of his.”


The Brits are very excited that an editor for the scandal-plagued BBC has been nominated. Paul Mason could earn that distinction for a tortured paragraph in his novel “Red Earth” that describes a feat of tantric sex involving an overweight businessman, a botanical description of female genitalia, and a man panting out the words “global market.”

The other finalists for “the most dreaded literary prize in Britain” are “The Yips” by Nicola Barker, “The Adventuress” by Nicholas Coleridge, “Infrared” by Nancy Huston, “Noughties” by Ben Masters, “The Quiddity of Will Self” by Sam Mills and “The Divine Comedy” by Craig Raine. The Literary Review is sending out more deliciously bad passages in its Twitter feed with the tag #LRBadSex2012.

My favorite tweet so far: “‘More, more,’ he cried out. ‘Next time you will discipline me dressed as a nun. I have the garments in a cupboard.’”



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