Morrissey Wins Bad Sex in Fiction Award with “Bulbous Salutation”

Heaven knows he’s miserable now. Morrissey, the favorite for the 23d Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award, went all the way to the top, winning for his debut novel, List of the Lost. Morrissey released his first book earlier this year, to some harsh reviews, especially concerning its sex scenes:

Eliza and Ezra rolled together into one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation …with Eliza’s breasts barrel-rolled across Ezra’s howling mouth and the pained frenzy of his bulbous salutation extenuating his excitement as it whacked and smacked its way into every muscle of Eliza’s body except for the otherwise central zone.

The winner was announced last night in London, at the In and Out Club in St. James Square, London. Morrissey was unable to attend the event, and the prize was unveiled by columnist Nancy Dell’Olio, immediately followed by this tweet by The Literary Review.

The goal of the Bad Sex Award is, according to Literary Review, to “to draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction, and to discourage them.” The award is popular on social media, and winners and nominees are routinely and gleefully mocked. Not everyone is as amused as Literary Review though. Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian called the award “a terribly English display of smug, gigglingly unfunny, charmless, and spiteful bullying.” For more perspective on the difficulty of writing good sex in fiction, and perhaps why the Bad Sex in Fiction Award is less than necessary, check out this article.

The following authors were shortlisted for the award along with Morrissey: Lauren Groff for Fates and Furies, Richard Bausch for Before, During After, Thomas Espedal for Against Nature, Erica Jong for Fear of Dying and George Pelecanos for The Martini Shot.

Excerpts from the other nominees and more about the Bad Sex in Fiction Award are here.

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