Manil Suri has won the Bad Sex in Fiction award for a scene in his novel The City of Devi describing a sexual encounter in terms of exploding supernovas and streaking superheroes, according to Britain’s Literary Review.
The prize, which has been bestowed by the magazine every year since 1993, aims to draw attention to “crude, badly written, or perfunctory use of passages of sexual description in contemporary novels, and to discourage it”.
Suri, a dual American and Indian citizen who is a professor of mathematics as well as a novelist, joins an illustrious list of past winners, including John Updike, Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe and Sebastian Faulks.
The Literary Review said the judges were won over by the climax of an extended sex scene in The City of Devi involving all three main characters.
“Surely supernovas explode that instant, somewhere, in some galaxy. The hut vanishes, and with it the sea and the sands – only Karun’s body, locked with mine, remains,” wrote Suri.
“We streak like superheroes past suns and solar systems, we dive through shoals of quarks and atomic nuclei. In celebration of our breakthrough fourth star, statisticians the world over rejoice.”
A representative of Bloomsbury, Suri’s British publisher, accepted it on his behalf. “As Jane Austen observed: ‘One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.’ Which half are you in?” it said. – Reuters