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Bad Sex Writing Award
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I didn't even know there was such a thing. But apparently Tom Wolfe has won it this year, for passages from his book, I am Charlotte Simmons. Sounds like he deserved it, too.

A sample:

But the hand that was what she tried to concentrate on, the hand, since it has the entire terrain of her torso to explore and not just the otorhinolaryngological caverns -- oh God, it was not just at the border where the flesh of the breast joins the pectoral sheath of the chest -- no, the hand was cupping her entire right -- Now!


The judges of the award apparently described his writing as "ghastly and boring". Yup, that sounds about right.

Now, I'm a little sympathetic (just a little...there really is no excuse for using the word "otorhinolaryngological"). Writing sex scenes is really tough. I've tried to write a few myself, and they are just inherently difficult. Unless there's some serious dramatic need for it (and there usually isn't, unless you're writing erotica), a fade-to-black is usually preferable, if only to spare the reader from absurd sexual metaphors (I remember reading Brazil, by John Updike, and rolling my eyes every time he referred to the young male protagonist's "thick yam").

Like horror, often what's left in the reader/viewer's mind to complete is more terrifying, or in this case, erotic, than explicit directions set down by the author.

Anyway, Wolfe declined the invitation to the award ceremony. Hmmph.

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