Mailer Wins 2007 Bad Sex In Fiction Award

"Then she was on him," the late Norman Mailer wrote in The Castle in the Forest, a novel about Adolf Hitler's childhood and adolescence. "She did not know if this would resuscitate him or end him, but the same spite, sharp as a needle, that had come to her after Fanni's death was in her again. Fanni had told her once what to do. So Klara turned head to foot, and put her most unmentionable part down on his hard-breathing nose and mouth, and took his old battering ram into her lips. Uncle was now as soft as a coil of excrement."

"It was the excrement that tipped the balance," said Philip Womack, assistant editor of the Literary Review, which sponsors the "Bad Sex in Fiction" Award, an annual competition since 1993, whose prize is a "semi-abstract trophy representing sex in the 1950s": A naked woman draped over an open book. "That, and the line about Alois [the male character] being 'ready at last to grind into her with the Hound, drive it into her piety'. That was pretty awful."

Previous winners of the award have included A.A. Gill, Sebastian Faulks and Tom "Bonfire of the Vanities" Wolfe.

One entry this year that didn't win was from Christopher Rush's novel Will:

"She responded with those cries that men long to hear, the sweet deep moaning sounds that echo the sigh of oceans, the ebb and flow of fields, the sough of stars."


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