Amis: 'Women better at writing about sex'

Martin Amis Amis now lives in Brooklyn, New York

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Author Martin Amis has told an audience at the Hay Festival that women are better at writing about sex than men.

"Once a man is writing a sex scene he's feeling omnipotent... but women don't, and they write better about it," he said.

He also said women write with more sincerity: "There's a bit more song in women's writing, there's more real sincerity in women's writing."

Amis was in Hay-on-Wye to discuss his novel, Lionel Asbo: State of England.

His thirteenth novel since his 1978 debut, The Rachel Papers, it is a satire about a petty criminal who wins a fortune on the lottery.

Amis now lives in the US and told the audience he felt his home country had become obsessed with celebrity culture.

"We can't pretend something hasn't gone a bit wrong with English culture in the last 50 or 60 years. I don't think there is another nation that is quite so interested in people who aren't so interesting," he said.

The Hay Festival finished on Sunday after its 11-day annual run in Powys, Wales.

Sir Terry Pratchett was honoured at this year's festival - other guests included George Alagiah, Fiona Shaw, William Boyd and Simon Callow.

In 1987 the literary festival began in the back of Hay on Wye's British Legion club and sold 2,000 tickets.

But 25 years on it has become a global attraction selling out to quarter of a million people.

Over the years, it has attracted some big names, including former US President Bill Clinton, former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and Sting.

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