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A Year of Books
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Bad Sex in Fiction prize goes to David Guterson

7th December 2011

The recipient of the 2011 Bad Sex in Fiction prize - one of the most undesirable awards in the literary world - is David Guterson, for his novel Ed King.

A rewriting of the story of Oedipus, Guterson's fifth novel was chosen by Literary Review for its reliance on rather coy sexual terms, though the novel had to beat off stiff competition from works by Lee Child (The Affair) and even Haruki Murakami (1Q84 Book 3).

The award was received in good humour by Guterson, who was unable to attend the ceremony at London's In & Out Club but noted: 'Oedipus practically invented bad sex, so I'm not in the least bit surprised.'

Literary Review assistant editor Jonathan Beckman said one segment in particular helped to make up the judges' minds, namely 'the part where a mother has sex with her son'.

'It's all slightly over the top and there's a bit of a disjoint between this guy who is a sexual demi-god and the weird, weird way Guterson goes about describing it. He seems a bit involved in it,' Beckman added.

Guterson becomes the 19th recipient of the annual prize, which was set up in 1993 by former Literary Review editor Auberon Waugh and book critic Rhoda Koenig to recognise and discourage 'crude, tasteless and often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description'.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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