Novelist Ben Okri wins Bad Sex in Fiction prize

AP News
Posted: Dec 03, 2014 3:01 PM

LONDON (AP) — Booker Prize-winning Nigerian writer Ben Okri has won the uncoveted Bad Sex in Fiction Award, a prize for erotic literary encounters that push all the wrong buttons.

The writer took the tongue-in-cheek honor Wednesday for conjuring an over-the-top passage in his novel "The Age of Magic."

"The universe was in her and with each movement it unfolded to her," Okri wrote. "Somewhere in the night a stray rocket went off."

Okri, who won the prestigious Booker Prize in 1991 for "The Famished Road," beat finalists including this year's Booker winner, Richard Flanagan; Japanese literary star Haruki Murakami; and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Cunningham.

The Bad Sex award was founded in 1993 to name-and-shame authors of "poorly written, perfunctory or redundant" passages of sexual description. Explicitly pornographic works are not eligible for the prize, run by the Literary Review magazine.

Previous recipients — most of whom have accepted the prize with good humor — include Tom Wolfe, Sebastian Faulks, the late Norman Mailer and the late John Updike, who was awarded a Bad Sex lifetime achievement award in 2008.

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Okri did not attend Wednesday's ceremony in London.

"A writer writes what they write and that's all there is to it," he said in a statement.

His editor, Maggie McKernan, said winning the award "is fun but a bit undignified, just like sex, assuming you do it properly."