In London last night, the Bad Sex in Fiction Award was presented to Rowan Somerville for a passage in his novel, The Shape of Her. Guess what he’s describing when he writes of the “nose of the loveliest nocturnal animal, sniffing in the night”?
If you guessed “nipple,” you’re right–and maybe you should nominate yourself next year. The comely account in Bloomberg (“Bad Sex in Fiction Award Goes to Somerville, Franzen Escapes U.K. Dishonor“) by James Pressley and Hephzibah Anderson is brimming with bon mots, from the judges’ decision not to give the prize to Alastair Campbell (because he wanted it too much) to Somerville’s game acceptance speech (“There is nothing more English than bad sex, so on behalf of the entire nation I would like to thank you.”)
And Jonathan Franzen wasn’t the only noteworthy name to be shut out from this important award, as you’ll see from the shortlist below.
Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen
The Slap, by Christos Tsiolkas
The Golden Mean, by Annabel Lyon
Maya, by Alastair Campbell
A Life Apart, by Neel Mukherjee
Heartbreak, by Craig Raine
Mr Peanut, by Adam Ross