Chalk up another literary awards snub for Jonathan Franzen. Although the Freedom author was among the nominees for the Literary Review‘s annual Bad Sex in Fiction prize, he lost out to British author Rowan Somerville. And, judging by the bit the Guardian excerpts from his novel The Shape of Her, Somerville surely deserves the win. Just try and read “like a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin he screwed himself into her” without shuddering!
Somerville did take the dubious honor in stride, saying, “”There is nothing more English than bad sex, so on behalf of the entire nation I would like to thank you.” Perhaps luckily for Americans, the book doesn’t seem to have found a stateside publisher yet. Read a few more libido-killing excerpts from the novel after the jump — if you can stomach them.
“He unbuttoned the front of her shirt and pulled it to the side so that her breast was uncovered, her nipple poking out, upturned like the nose of the loveliest nocturnal animal, sniffing the night. He took it between his lips and sucked the salt from her.”
Pubic hair “like desert vegetation following an underground stream.”
He “twisted onto her belly like a fish flipping itself.”