Literary Review is a British literary magazine founded in 1979 by Anne Smith, then head of the Department of English at Edinburgh University. Each year since 1993, Literary Review presents the annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award to the author who produces the worst description of a sex scene in a novel. The award was originally established by Rhoda Koenig, a literary critic, and Auberon Waugh, then the magazine’s editor. The rationale? “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 first recipient of the award was Melvyn Bragg…now Lord Bragg of Soggy Bottom…for his novel ‘A Time to Dance’. The 2013 shortlist of authors has just been published! Of the eight nominated by erudite, scholarly sexperts, seven are men. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
I’ve been writing novels for several years. From my experience it’s very easy to write bad sex, but extraordinarily difficult to write a good sex scene. One of the most difficult things is to keep the fluidity of the ‘action’ going! As one of the greatest lovers in the world, I’m still better at doing it, than writing about it!
And the winner of the 21st annual Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award is Manil Suri for his third novel, ‘The City of Devi’.