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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Thursday, November 30, 2006 10:38 am
Iain Hollingshead Wins the Bad Sex
Posted by: Keir Graff

Alternate post title: “It’s for Writing about It, Not, You Know…”

Saw this first on Galleycat: Iain Hollingshead, author of Twentysomething: The Quarter Life Crisis of Jack Lancaster (Booklist called it a “lad’s version of Bridget Jones’s Diary”), has won Literary Review‘s Bad Sex in Fiction Award.

(Not, by the way, The Literary Review.)

From the AP, via USA Today:

Hollingshead beat established writers including Booker Prize nominee David Mitchell, best seller Mark Haddon and literary maverick Thomas Pynchon to the prize, which aims to skewer “the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel.”

Judges were moved by Hollingshead’s evocation of “a commotion of grunts and squeaks, flashing unconnected images and explosions of a million little particles.” His description of “bulging trousers” sealed the win, the judges said.

“Because Hollingshead is a first-time writer, we wished to discourage him from further attempts,” the judges – editors of Literary Review magazine – said in a statement. “Heavyweights like Thomas Pynchon and Will Self are beyond help at this point.”

Yes, you read that correctly. Thomas Pynchon was a fellow nominee:

Pynchon’s long-awaited, 1,000-page novel, Against the Day, was nominated for a scene involving a spaniel that ends: “Reader, she bit him.”

Too many great bits to quote. Read the article!

6 Responses to “Iain Hollingshead Wins the Bad Sex”
  1. Donna Seaman Says:

    Hi Keir,

    Against the Day is rife with ribald sex involving curious configurations and strange settings and risky circumstances. Maybe this will induce those reluctant to take on such a big book to at least flip through it looking for love, so to speak.

    Donna

  2. Keir Says:

    Many classics have been discovered through a search for naughty bits, haven’t they?

    (You don’t have a dog-eared copy you could lend me, do you?)

  3. Donna Seaman Says:

    That would be telling, now wouldn’t it?

  4. maggie Says:

    These lucky judges obviously did not get around to reading my brother’s sci-fi book, where the thrusting has nothing to do with rocket boosters. Ew! :P

  5. Keir Says:

    Maggie, what is your brother’s book called? Inquiring minds want to know!

  6. maggie Says:

    Let’s just say it’s self published. If his next book is better, I might fess-up.


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