Bad-Sex Fiction Finalists Announced
Philip Roth and Amos Oz make list of year’s worst literary sex scenes
If Philip Roth’s The Humbling fails to earn him a National Book Award nomination next year, he can at least console himself with the news that he’s made the shortlist of contenders for a British award honoring bad sex in fiction. Bestowed by the London magazine Literary Review, the awards “draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel,” Auberon Waugh, who helped establish the contest, told the Guardian. In Roth’s case, his narrator’s declaration that a scene with a now infamous green dildo “was not soft porn” is defensive, according to the Review’s Jonathan Beckman, and his description of the female love interest as “a magical composite of shaman, acrobat, and animal” is, said Beckman, “an attempt to convince us that Roth’s leering is actually giving some vital anthropological insight.” Read excerpts from all the finalists for yourself.
Roth is in good company—Israel’s Amos Oz is also a finalist for his book Rhyming Life and Death, as is the musician Nick Cave, whose second novel, The Death of Bunny Monroe, came out earlier this year. There’s one woman, Sanjida O’Connell, among the 10, a disparity which begets the question of whether women authors write sex scenes less often than men or simply less poorly.
Polish historian uses the site to reconstruct the life of murdered boy
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.