Ben Okri wins 'bad sex' award, with 'Can I compare thee to…a lightbulb?'

Ben Okri wins 'bad sex' award, with 'Can I compare thee to…a lightbulb?'

Thursday, December 4, 2014 10:01 am

Ben Okri: wins 'bad sex' award

Ben Okri: wins ‘bad sex’ award

Nigerian author Ben Okri won this year’s Bad Sex in Fiction Award on Wednesday for a new book in which he compares the effect of a man caressing a woman’s body to turning on a lightbulb.

“When his hand brushed her nipple it tripped a switch and she came alight,” began the passage in Okri’s “The Age of Magic” which earned him the less-than-coveted award from the Literary Review.

Ben Okri's The Age of Magic cover

Ben Okri’s The Age of Magic cover

“He touched her belly and his hand seemed to burn through her. He lavished on her body indirect touches and bittersweet sensations flooded her brain,” the passage continues, cited by the Review.

After describing a bit more of the man fondling his partner, Okri reports that the woman “felt certain now that there was a heaven and that it was here, in her body. The universe was in her and with each movement it unfolded to her.

“Somewhere in the night a stray rocket went off,” the passage ends.

The Literary Review, which sponsors the award, said that Okri was unable to attend but had submitted a brief response, saying, “A writer writes what they write and that’s all there is to it.”

Previous winners of the lampoon award whose stated purpose is “to draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction” include Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe, A.A. Gill and Sebastian Faulks.

The late American novelist John Updike is the only writer so far to have received “a lifetime achievement award”.

*reported by reuters

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