Bad Sex 2016

Books nominated so far for the 24th Bad Sex in Fiction Award include 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, Leave Me by Gayle Forman and The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler.

This year there has been the usual flood of nominations, with authors ranging from Ian McEwan to Eimear McBride. The judges’ attention was particularly caught by several passages from Jonathan Safran Foer’s Here I Am, including lines such as: ‘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.’ However, these authors ultimately failed to make the grade.

So too did Donald Trump, despite his best efforts to crown his recent electoral triumph with a still more glorious prize. Several readers nominated his ‘locker-room talk’, but this had to be discounted on the grounds that the award only covers fiction.

The books under consideration nonetheless represent a distinguished selection of authors. They include a New York Times bestselling author (Forman), a European Prize for Literature winner (De Luca), a teacher of creative writing at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop (Canin) and a former presenter of Blue Peter (Ellis).

The winner of this year’s award will be announced on Wednesday 30 November.