The late Norman Mailer has been announced as the winner of the Bad Sex in Fiction award, with a passage from his book The Castle in the Forest. The awards, started by the Literary Review in 1993, were designed to ‘draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it.’
The winning passage is as follows:
‘His mouth lathered with her sap, he turned around and embraced her face with all the passion of his own lips and face, ready at last to grind into her with the Hound, drive it into her piety.’
Cringe! Certainly rude and tasteless, but hardly perfunctory. Other authors up for the award were Jeanette Winterson, Ian McEwan and Harry Potter actor David Thewlis, all with suitably raunchy passages.
Our favourite, though, comes from Christopher Rush’s novel Will, about the life of Shakespeare:
‘O glorious pubes! The ultimate triangle, whose angles delve to hell but point to paradise. Let me sing the black banner, the blackbird’s wing, the chink, the cleft, the keyhole in the door. The fig, the fanny, the cranny, the quim – I’d come close to it now, this sudden blush, this ancient avenue, the end of all odysseys and epic aim of life, pulling at my prick now, pulling like a lodestone.’
We think the ‘O glorious pubes’ alone could have won it. What do you think?
(Image: from pj mac’s flickr stream)