Man Booker Prize winner Richard Flanagan and distinguished novelists Haruki Murakami and Michael Cunningham are among the authors whose books are in contention for the 22nd Bad Sex in Fiction Award.
The prize awards the “most egregious passage of sexual description in a work of fiction”, and its purpose is to “draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction, and to discourage them”.
This year’s shortlist includes The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Chatto & Windus) by Flanagan (pictured), which won this year’s Man Booker Prize, and Murakami’s latest novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (Harvill Secker).
Also on the list are The Snow Queen by Cunningham (Fourth Estate), who has won the Pulitzer Prize; The Hormone Factory by Saskia Goldschmidt (Other Press); Desert God by Wilbur Smith (HarperCollins); The Age of Magic by Ben Okri (Head of Zeus); The Affairs of Others by Amy Grace Loyd (Weidenfeld & Nicolson); Things to Make and Break by May-Lan Tan (CB Editions); The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh (Tinder Press); and The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle by Kirsty Wark (Two Roads).
The judges considered including Andrew Marr’s fiction debut Head of State (Fourth Estate) in the shortlist, but said it “failed to sustain its early promise”.
Last year the prize was won by Manil Suri for The City of Devi, published by Bloomsbury.
The winner of the 2014 award will be announced on Wednesday 3rd December.