Literature’s Most Notorious Award Is Back

The 2016 Bad Sex in Fiction nominees are in…

Now that the National Book Awards have been handed out, it’s time for another great literary honor to take center stage…Nominees for the 24th Annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award are here! Since 1993, the Literary Review has been on the prowl for authors who “produce an outstandingly bad scene of sexual description in an otherwise good novel.” It seemed impossible to top last year’s winner, Morrissey, who pushed literary erotica to its limits when he detailed the “pained frenzy” of a character’s “bulbous salutation extenuating his excitement.” But this year’s contenders somehow defied the odds. 2016 just won’t quit. The nominees shortlisted for the prize are:

— A Doubter’s Almanac by Ethan Canin

Men Like Air by Tom Connolly,

— The Day Before Happiness by Erri De Luca

— The Butcher’s Hook by Janet Ellis (a former children show’s host!)

— Leave Me by Gayle Forman

— The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler

How are the sharps handicapping this one? The Guardian, for one, considers Connolly among the frontrunners. His latest, Men Like Air, includes a kinky scene in which the protagonist shows off his well endowed … arm length?

“He watched her passport rise gradually out of the back pocket of her jeans in time with the rhythmic bobbing of her buttocks as she sucked him. He arched over her back and took hold of the passport before it landed on the pimpled floor.”

Universal Pictures

The Bad Sex in Fiction judges note how “sometimes anatomy goes a little bit wrong for a writer who’s trying to do too many things at once.” Connolly and the other shortlisted authors advanced in the 2016 competition over big names like Jonathan Safran Foer, who compared his character’s lustful urges to the steadfast resolve of a mountain climber:

“He jerked off with the determination of someone within sight of Everest’s summit, having lost all his friends and Sherpas, having run out of supplemental oxygen, but preferring death to failure.”

You know the Bad Sex in Fiction award may be the hardest in literature when lines like that aren’t enough to win the judges’ approval..

Stay tuned for more on this important literary prize. The winner will be announced on November 30th!

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