Ben Okri Wins The 2014 Bad Sex In Fiction Award

Head of Zeus/Fourth Estate/Two Roads

He may have won the Booker Prize, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction and the Guardian Fiction Prize.

But on Wednesday night, Ben Okri was the recipient of Britain's most dreaded literary prize - Literary Review magazine's infamous Bad Sex in Fiction Award.

Okri won the award for his tenth novel, 'The Age of Magic'. Specifically, for what the judges called "an ecstatic scene" involving a documentary presenter "and his luminescent girlfriend, Mistletoe":

"When his hand brushed her nipple it tripped a switch and she came alight. He touched her belly and his hand seemed to burn through her. He lavished on her body indirect touches and bitter-sweet sensations flooded her brain.

She became aware of places in her that could only have been concealed there by a god with a sense of humour. Adrift on warm currents, no longer of this world, she became aware of him gliding into her. He loved her with gentleness and strength, stroking her neck, praising her face with his hands, till she was broken up and began a low rhythmic wail. She was a little overwhelmed with being the adored focus of such power, as he rose and fell. She felt certain now that there was a heaven and that it was here, in her body. The universe was in her and with each movement it unfolded to her.

Somewhere in the night a stray rocket went off."

Okri's award was presented by the Reverend Richard Coles at a sparkling ceremony in central London - but as the author himself was sadly unable to attend, Laura Palmer, editorial director of Head of Zeus, accepted the award on his behalf. "This completes every start-up publisher's dream hat-trick: Head of Zeus have now won a Political Book Award, the Metadata Gold Standard Award, and the Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award all in a single year," she said.

Okri’s editor, meanwhile, perhaps put it best. "Winning the award is fun but a bit undignified," said Maggie McKernan, "just like sex, assuming you do it properly."

Check out extracts from some of the shortlisted novels below - although, be warned: they may put you off sex, or reading, or both...

Bad Sex Award: 2014 nominees

Ben Okri

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