Veteran singer and debut novelist Morrissey has won this year's Bad Sex in Fiction award for his book List of the Lost.
The former Smiths vocalist’s first fiction book, after previously releasing an autobiography in 2013, was published by Penguin in September and received some negative reviews. It tells the story of four Boston relay runners who are cursed by an old man in the woods.
A scene involving Ezra, one of the athletes, and his girlfriend, Eliza, caught the attention of the judges and was the favourite to win when the shortlist was announced last month. The ceremony was presented by Nancy Dell'Olio on Tuesday 1 December.
The scene in question reads: “At this, Eliza and Ezra rolled together into one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation, screaming and shouting as they playfully bit and pulled at each other in a dangerous and clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation with Eliza’s breasts barrel-rolled across Ezra’s howling mouth and the pained frenzy of his bulbous salutation extenuating his excitement as it whacked and smacked its way into every muscle of Eliza’s body except for the otherwise central zone.”
The shortlist included The Martini Shot, by the celebrated screenwriter of The Wire, George Pelecanos (“I rubbed myself against her until she was wet as a waterslide”); Joshua Cohen’s Book of Numbers (“her breasts were like young fawns, sheep frolicking in hyssop”); and Before, During, After by Richard Bausch (“When she took him, still a little flaccid, into her mouth, he moaned, ‘Oh, lover’”).
Established in 1993 by the Literary Review’s then editor, Auberon Waugh, the aim of the Bad Sex in Fiction awards is to draw attention to “poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction” with the hope of discouraging them.
Morrissey, who follows in the footsteps of Melvyn Bragg, Rachel Johnson and Sebastian Faulks in winning the dubious award, was unable to attend due to touring commitments. He was also unavailable for comment.
Edited by Joe Jones