Here Are the Nominees for This Year’s ‘Bad Sex in Fiction Award’

Don't worry, there are excerpts

November 18, 2016 9:00 am

“The act itself was fervent. Like a brisk tennis game or a summer track meet, something performed in daylight between competitors. The cheap mattress bounced. She liked to do it more than once, and he was usually able to comply. Bourbon was his gasoline.”

By penning passages like that one in his latest work, A Doubter’s Almanac, Ethan Canin became a finalist for the Literary Review’s 2016 “Bad Sex in Fiction Award” earlier this week.


The award, which has been given out on an annual basis since 1993, is not meant to promote “pornographic or expressly erotic literature,” but instead seeks to honor “an author who has produced an outstandingly bad scene of sexual description in an otherwise good novel.”

Joining Canin on the list of 2016’s nominees are Tom Connolly (Men Like Air), Erri De Luca (The Day Before Happiness), Janet Ellis (The Butcher’s Hook), Gayle Forman (Leave Me) and Robert Seethaler (The Tobacconist).

As the Review notes, they were forced to leave many qualified candidates off the list, including president-elect Donald Trump, who many readers nominated for his “locker-room talk.” They explain: “This had to be discounted on the grounds that the award only covers fiction.”

Hey, even erotica awards have standards. 

The winner will be announced November 30th and, if you want, there are more excerpts here.

Best of luck to all of the nominees.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.