Ben Okri has won the Literary Review‘s Bad Sex in Fiction award, making him the 22nd recipient of what is known as Britain’s most dreaded literary prize. Okri wins for a passage in his novel, The Age of Magic. Below is an excerpt from the scene, which includes the final sentence that reportedly swayed the jury:
She became aware of places in her that could only have been concealed there by a god with a sense of humour. Adrift on warm currents, no longer of this world, she became aware of him gliding into her. He loved her with gentleness and strength, stroking her neck, praising her face with his hands, till she was broken up and began a low rhythmic wail. She was a little overwhelmed with being the adored focus of such power, as he rose and fell. She felt certain now that there was a heaven and that it was here, in her body. The universe was in her and with each movement it unfolded to her.
Somewhere in the night a stray rocket went off.
Okri is a recipient of a Booker Prize, the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and the Guardian Fiction Prize. See our earlier post to revisit the shortlist, where you’ll find other equally lauded writers.