Bad Sex in Fiction Award 2015: What are they and does Morrissey have a shot?

The passage in question includes references to one character’s 'barrel-rolled' breasts and another’s 'bulbous salutation'

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The Independent Culture

There is a light that never goes out…

That’s easy for Morrissey to say, but anyone who invested in his debut novel this year probably flicked off their reading lamp post-haste if the scathing reviews were anything to go by. But all is not lost: the shortlist for the 2015 Bad Sex Awards has been unveiled – and the musician-turned-author has made the cut with his tale List of the Lost.

What on Earth are the Bad Sex Awards?

The annual awards ceremony, now in its 23rd year, is organised by the magazine Literary Review to celebrate the most “egregious passage of sexual description” in a work of fiction. "The books in question demonstrate the rude health of modern fiction," the judges said.

Is there a purpose to this prize?

Yes – according to the rules, the awards are designed to “draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction, and to discourage them”. However, they are not intended to cover “pornographic or expressly erotic literature”.

Is Morrissey in with a shot?

Well, competition is stiff. Nevertheless, Literary Review has already touted the former Smiths frontman’s List of the Lost as an “obvious frontrunner” thanks to his depiction of a “giggling snowball of full-figured copulation”. The passage in question includes references to one character’s “barrel-rolled” breasts and another’s “bulbous salutation”.

My word, what colourful imagery!

The novel, published by Penguin, is Morrissey’s second book. His autobiography was published in 2013 by Penguin as part of its “Classics” imprint, an honour normally reserved for literary luminaries such as Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy. Last year, the Bad Sex Award was handed to Ben Okri for The Age of Magic. The winner of this year’s award will be announced on 1 December.