Entertainment & Arts

Author Somerville wins 'bad sex' literary prize

Rowan Somerville's The End of Sleep
Somerville thanked the nation for the accolade

Second-time novelist Rowan Somerville has pipped Alastair Campbell to the post to win the Literary Review's bad sex in fiction award.

The author picked up the prize for his book The Shape of Her.

The novel includes the line: "She released his hair from her fingers and twisted onto her belly like a fish flipping itself."

Somerville said: "There is nothing more English than bad sex, so on behalf of the entire nation, I thank you."

Former Labour spin doctor Campbell was nominated for his novel, Maya.

The judges felt that Campbell's public enthusiasm for winning the prize was not in keeping with the Bad Sex in Fiction's original purpose - to discourage further poor writing of a sexual nature.

Its aim is "to draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel."

Other shortlisted authors for the tongue-in-cheek prize included Jonathan Franzen for Freedom and Christos Tsiolkas for The Slap.

Last year's prize went to Jonathan Littell for his novel The Kindly Ones.

Auberon Waugh established the Bad Sex in Fiction prize in 1993.

Previous winners include Norman Mailer, AA Gill, Melvyn Bragg and Tom Wolfe.

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