Books

Eat, Pray, Love writer Elizabeth Gilbert among finalists for 2019 Bad Sex in Fiction Award

The Bad Sex in Fiction Award was established in 1993, with the hopes of weeding out "poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction."
City of Girls is a novel by Elizabeth Gilbert. (Riverhead Books, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders)

The five finalists for the annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award have been revealed. Among this year's finalists are Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the bestselling memoir Eat, Pray Love, for her new novel City of Girls.

Literary Review, a U.K.-based magazine, gives the award annually to books with extremely unfortunate descriptions of sex.

City of Girls is about a 95-year-old woman, Vivian Morris, who is reflecting on her time when, as a young woman, she was kicked out of college and moves to New York City, where she falls in with a group of actors and playwrights.

Elizabeth Gilbert talks about coping with the loss of her partner and how she managed to write her joyous new novel, City of Girls, during this time of personal mourning. 18:56

The other finalists include The River Capture by Irish writer Mary Costello, The Office of Gardens and Ponds by French screenwriter and novelist Didier Decoin, Pax by British crime fiction novelist John Harvey and The Electric Hotel by Australian-American novelist Dominic Smith.

Nominations are still being accepted. The winner will be announced on Dec. 2.

The Bad Sex in Fiction Award was established in 1993, with the hopes of weeding out "poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction."

Last year's winner was James Frey for his novel Katerina. Other past winners include Booker Prize winner Ben Okri, Pulitzer Prize winner Norman Mailer and Canadian writer Nancy Huston.

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