Last week we reported on the Bad Sex Awards, a program that “honors” not real people who have left their lovers unsatisfied in the past year, but writers who committed “crude and often perfunctory… redundant passages of sexual description” to page in their works of otherwise non-erotic fiction. 2012 saw a selection of nominees from repeat nominee Tom Wolfe, for his use of the euphemisms “generative jockey” and “pelvic saddle,” to Paul Mason‘s “chrysanthemum.”
But there can only be one 2012 winner of the Bad Sex Awards, and she is Nancy Huston, for her novel Infrared.
From the Huffington Post:
Judges of the tongue-in-cheek prize – which is run by the Literary Review magazine – said they were struck by a description of “flesh, that archaic kingdom that brings forth tears and terrors, nightmares, babies and bedazzlements,” and by a long passage that builds to a climax of “undulating space.”
When the contest was announced last week, the Literary Review magazine offered this quote as an example from Infrared, which concerns a photographer who takes pictures of her lovers mid-coitus: “This is when I take my picture, from deep inside the loving. The Canon is part of my body. I myself am the ultrasensitive film — capturing invisible reality, capturing heat.”
Huston is a considerably award-winning author in both French and English, but was unable to attend the awards ceremony, where Downton Abbey cast member Samantha Bond read the results. Her publicist offered this statement from her: “I hope this prize will incite thousands of British women to take close-up photos of their lovers’ bodies in all states of array and disarray.”
Of the twenty winners of the Bad Sex Awards, Huston is only the third woman. I’m okay with this.