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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, January 26

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News Wed Dec 01 2010

Franzen No Match for Irish in 2010 Bad Sex Award

Jonathan Franzen's Freedom was a contender for this year's Bad Sex in Fiction Award, held by the British publication Literary Review. The winner was Rowan Somerville for The Shape of Her (which I could only find on British book sites) for such lines as "like a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin he screwed himself into her."

The award, given out every year since 1993, initially sought out to celebrate well written sex scenes, but that idea was ditched in favor of mocking that which aims for hot yet feels like watching a car crash. Then-Literary Review editor Auberon Waugh said, "for something like 15 years I had to review a novel a week in various publications, and bit by bit I noticed how practically every novelist had taken to including a sex scene which had nothing to do with the plot and added nothing to the enjoyment of the narrative. Nobody could possibly have been aroused by these awkward, perfunctory couplings." Here are Somerville's thoughts on winning the award, and here is a list of past winners.

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Aharona / December 3, 2010 11:58 PM

Too funny! I had no idea there was such an award!

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