| Give a Gift |

  • Digital Edition

Rachel Johnson Wins Bad Sex in Fiction Award, Updike Duly Recognized

Daily News

Online Only, posted 11.28.08

At a ceremony in London on Tuesday night, Rachel Johnson, the sister of the city's mayor, Boris Johnson, was awarded the sixteenth annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award for passages in her novel Shire Hell (Penguin, 2008). John Updike received a lifetime achievement award after being nominated for the prize four consecutive times; he was in the running for this year's award for passages in The Widows of Eastwick (Knopf, 2008). 

The award was established in 1993 by the London magazine the Literary Review "to draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it." The judges singled out a particularly cringeworthy passage in Johnson's novel that includes the phrase, "and a strange animal noise escapes me." Johnson said it was an "absolute honor" to win.

The finalists for this year's award were The Gate of Air by James Buchan, All in the Mind by Alastair Campbell, To Love, Honour and Betray by Kathy Lette, Sashenka by Simon Montefiore, Attachment by Isabel Fonseca, and The Reserve by Russell Banks.

Last year the Bad Sex in Fiction Award was given posthumously to Norman Mailer, who died last November, for his novel The Castle in the Forest (Random House, 2007).


Reader Comments

City Guide

by Jen Michalski

Author Jen Michalski takes us on a tour of the many literary sites writers should visit while strolling the gritty streets of Baltimore.

Upcoming Events
Creative Nonfiction
San Diego City College Ninth Annual International Book Fair
October 20, 2014 - 11:10am
City Lights Booksellers and Publishers
October 20, 2014 - 7:00pm
Creative Nonfiction
City Lights Bookstore
October 20, 2014 - 7:00pm
University of Chicago - Logan Center, Seminar Terrace 801
October 21, 2014 - 6:00pm
The New School's Orozco Room
October 21, 2014 - 6:30pm
Conferences & Residencies
Riga, Latvia
Charlotte, North Carolina
Banner, Wyoming
Writing Contests
University of Evansville
American Library Association
Magazine Articles

by Mira Ptacin

November/December 2014

Despite struggles, libraries are learning to navigate the ever-changing, and often cost-prohibitive, landscape of digital lending.


by Staff

Politics & Prose replaces Barnes & Noble as official National Book Festival bookseller; new Berryman volume and reissues released; Carlos Lozada named nonfiction book critic at the Washington Post; and other news.

Directory of Writers
Glendale, CA
Alexandria, LA
New York, NY

Subscribe to P&W Magazine | Donate Now | Advertise | Sign up for E-Newsletter | Help | About Us | Contact Us | View Mobile Site

© Copyright Poets & Writers 2014. All Rights Reserved