Blockbuster writer Stephen King, acclaimed Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami and controversial author James Frey have earned spots on the nominee list for the 19th annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award.
The goal of the infamous honour, spearheaded by the U.K.'s Literary Review magazine, is to "draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it."
Organizers unveiled the 2011 finalists on Tuesday, making light of the literary luminaries and top-selling talent on the list.
"In a year in which literary awards have come under fire for parochialism and dumbing-down, Literary Review is proud to uphold and recognize literary excellence from around the world," the magazine staff said.
Select passages from nominees:
"Ohmygodyes," she said and I laughed. She opened her eyes and looked up at me with curiosity and hopefulness. "Is it over, or is there more?"
"A little more," I said. "I don’t know how much. I haven’t been with a woman in a long time." (11.22.63 by Stephen King)
|[Her breasts] seemed to be virtually uninfluenced by the force of gravity, the nipples turned beautifully upward, like a vine’s new tendrils seeking sunlight. (1Q84 by Haruki Murakami)|
|My tongue furiously worked the craters. (Dead Europe by Christos Tsiolkas)|
|In the shower, Ed stood with his hands at the back of his head, like someone just arrested, while she abused him with a bar of soap. (Ed King by David Guterson)|
|Additional excerpts and information can be found on the Literary Review's Twitter feed: @Lit_Review|
"Authors in the running hail from, among other nations, the U.S., Hungary, Japan and Australia. Two are annually mentioned in the same breath as the Nobel Prize."
King and Murakami made the cut for their headline-grabbing novels11.22.63 and 1Q84, respectively. Frey, who sparked a scandal with his addiction tale A Million Little Pieces, is a nominee for his novel The Final Testament of the Holy Bible.
Also on the list are:
- On Canaan's Side by Sebastian Barry.
- Parallel Stories by Peter Nadas.
- Ed King by David Guterson.
- The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel.
- The Affair by Lee Child.
- Dead Europe by Christos Tsiolkas.
- Outside the Ordinary World by Dori Ostermiller.
- Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy.
- The Great Night by Chris Adrian.
Organizers will name the winner of the dubious honour during a gala ceremony at London's Naval & Military Club on Dec. 6.
Rowan Somerville won in 2010 for his novel The Shape of Her, joining past recipients such as Norman Mailer and Tom Wolfe. John Updike, a frequent finalist, was honoured with a Bad Sex in Fiction lifetime achievement award in 2008.