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Okri bags Bad Sex In Fiction gong

Former Booker Prize winner Ben Okri has picked up one of literature's less popular prizes - winning the Bad Sex In Fiction Award.

He came out on top of a shortlist including Wilbur Smith and Kirsty Wark thanks to a passage from his novel The Age Of Magic, about a group of filmmakers, which compared foreplay to turning on a light switch.

The offending paragraphs, describing an encounter between documentary presenter Lao and his girlfriend Mistletoe, began: "When his hand brushed her nipple it tripped a switch and she came alight."

It goes on to describe her as "Adrift on warm currents, no longer of this world", before concluding: "Somewhere in the night a stray rocket went off."

Okri, who won the Booker in 1991 for The Famished Road, said: "'A writer writes what they write and that's all there is to it."

His editor, Maggie McKernan, said: "Winning the award is fun but a bit undignified, just like sex, assuming you do it properly".

The prize, organised by The Literary Review magazine, was handed over to Laura Palmer, the editorial director of his publishers Head Of Zeus, at a ceremony in central London.

It was established in 1993 by critic Auberon Waugh to "draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction, and to discourage them".

Previous winners include Norman Mailer, Giles Coren and Melvyn Bragg.


From Belfast Telegraph