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There is more sex in books than what you read in J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy and E.L. James’ 50 Shades of Grey. The two novels were considered favorites for the most dreaded literary award, the Literary Review’s Bad Sex Award, but failed to make the cut.
The magazine’s award celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and announced the nominees on Tuesday. Jonathan Beckman will announce the winner on Dec. 5.
The National Review claims that it created the award with the best intentions in mind. “The purpose of the prize is to draw attention to the crude, badly written, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it,” the UK magazine notes.
The book’s nominated this year are:
The Yips by Nicola Barker
The Adventuress by Nicholas Coleridge
Infrared by Nancy Huston
Rare Earth by Paul Mason
Noughties by Ben Masters
The Quiddity of Will Self by Sam Mills
The Divine Comedy by Craig Raine
Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe
According to Entertainment Weekly, James’ popular mommy porn novels didn’t make the list because of a technicality.
Literary Review editor Jonathan Beckman told The Guardian that James’ novels weren’t included “because the prize's rubric explicitly excludes pornographic and erotic literature.” Besides, he said, “I don't think she needs any more publicity, does she?”
As for Rowling’s first post-Harry Potter novel, Beckman admitted “a couple of queasy moments,” but said that her writing was not as bad as other’s.
The list actually includes authors who have been nominated multiple times. Wolfe, Coleridge and Raine have been nominated again.
Last year’s winner was David Guterson’s Ed King.