Books nominated so far for the 23rd Bad Sex in Fiction Award include Before, During, After by Richard Bausch, Book of Numbers by Joshua Cohen, Against Nature by Tomas Espedal, Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff, The Making of Zombie Wars by Aleksandar Hemon, Fear of Dying by Erica Jong, List of the Lost by Morrissey, and The Martini Shot by George Pelecanos.
The books in question demonstrate the rude health of modern fiction. Morrissey’s appearance represents the first time an author from the distinguished Penguin Classics stable has made it onto the shortlist. This year’s authors also include a celebrated screenwriter of The Wire (Pelecanos) and a writer well known for her exploration of female desire (Jong).
Michael Ashcroft and Isabel Oakeshott’s Call Me Dave was brought to the judges’ attention because of its suggestion that ‘the future PM inserted a private part of his anatomy into the animal’s mouth’. That assertion was so flimsily corroborated as to resemble fiction but, regrettably, the biographers displayed insufficient literary brio to merit serious consideration.
The winner of this year’s award will be announced on Tuesday 1 December.