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Authors 'frightened' of literary bad sex award

The Literary Review's annual bad sex award celebrates bad descriptions of sex in literature, but one of the writers shortlisted for the award in 2013, William Nicholson, believes there should be an award for good sex writing too.

Mr Nicholson told the Today programme that he was "hurt" to be shortlisted but, when he searched for former nominees, he noticed his name was among those of "Jonathan Franzen, Thomas Pynchon, Salman Rushdie, and John Updike".

He added that despite sex being "all around us… we don't talk about it" in everyday life, but that literature allows us to.

Rowan Pelling, the former editor of the Erotic Review, noted that a lot of modern literature "is curtailed by our sense of irony".

"The minute you are sincere about sex, everyone is laughing at you," she continued.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Tuesday 3 December 2013.

  • 03 Dec 2013
  • From the section UK