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Britain’s Bad Sex Award Pits Philip Roth Against Nick Cave

Mon, Nov 23, 2009

Books, Pop Culture

nick_cavephoto of Nick Cave via Los Angeles Times

If there’s one thing the Brits are good at, it’s laughing about sex, whether it’s lowbrow, bum-pinching humor — paging Benny Hill — or the highbrow upper echelons of London’s literary society. The cool kids in the latter category are definitely at the¬†Literary Review magazine, with their annual¬†Bad Sex Awards. The announcement of the selections each year leads to a flurry of bad-pun headlines in the British press — “stiff competition” being a favorite phrase (Benny Hill would be proud!). Past nominees have included such heavy hitters as¬†Gabriel Garc√≠a M√°rquez, Norman Mailer and Salman Rushdie.¬†This year’s shortlist is no different, including John Banville, Paul Theroux, singer-turned-writer Nick Cave, and Philip Roth. The only surprise with Roth is that it took him this long to make the cut.

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