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Britain's Most Dreaded Literary Prize...

The 21st annual award for the most embarrassing passage of sexual description in a novel will take place on Tuesday 3 December 2013.

The purpose of the prize is to draw attention to the crude, badly written, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it. The prize is not intended to cover pornographic or expressly erotic literature.

In a year in which the Man Booker Prize has tentatively stretched its remit across the Atlantic, the Bad Sex Award, which has long been cosmopolitan and ecumenical, is delighted to present a shortlist that reaches from the USA to India, and from writers in their pomp to one published from beyond the grave.

This year's shortlist includes:

  • My Education by Susan Choi
  • The Last Banquet by Jonathan Grimwood
  • House of Earth by Woody Guthrie
  • Motherland by William Nicholson
  • The Victoria System by Eric Reinhardt
  • The World Was All Before Them by Matthew Reynolds
  • The City of Devi by Manil Suri
  • Secrecy by Rupert Thomson

Last year the prize was won by Nancy Huston for Infrared, published by Atlantic Books.

For a confessional account on Bad Sex judging by Literary Review's senior editor Jonathan Beckman, read his piece in the Financial Times. You will also be able to read a more detailed report on this year's shortlist in Literary Review's December / January double issue. For snippets from the shortlist, follow Literary Review's twitter account, @lit_review. The tweets are tagged as #BadSex.

How do you find bad sex? The hunt continues here:

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