Posts Tagged ‘literary review’
Last November Rowan Somerville was awarded the Literary Review‘s 18th annual Bad Sex Award…
The prize was awarded for passages from his second novel, The Shape of Her. He was presented with the award by Michael Winner on Monday 29 November at a ceremony in St James’s Square. ‘There is nothing more English than bad sex,’ said Somerville, whose first novel, The End of Sleep, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. ‘So on behalf of the nation, I thank you.’ The judges’ minds were made up by sentences such as: ‘Like a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin he screwed himself into her.’
The other nominees were:
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen (4th Estate)
The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas (Atlantic Books)
The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon (Atlantic Books)
Maya by Alastair Campbell (Hutchinson)
A Life Apart by Neel Mukherjee (Constable & Robinson)
Heartbreak by Craig Raine (Atlantic Books)
Mr Peanut by Adam Ross (Jonathan Cape)
OK, so mainstream novelists sometimes reach embarrassingly as they try to bottle bliss… But what of those writers who pursue passion as a matter of course? Now, with the help of Bad Romance Novels (“Bad excerpts from bad Romance Novels”), one can harvest the purple pearls that lurk within bodice-rippers (and also, occasionally, the scribblings of more “traditional” writers like Paulo Coelho or Thomas Pynchon)… A couple of examples (chosen from those relatively more suitable for work):
He kissed her long and deep, and it was as if someone had just pressed a button marked “sizzle”…
The Billionaire Bodyguard – Sharon Kendrick
Their lips fit together with a perfection he had never known with another woman and she tasted as sweet as a Christmas divinity.
The Greek’s Christmas Baby – Lucy Monroe
UPDATE: A watchful Twitterer (@jkmyrna, to whom, thanks) has alerted your correspondent to the fact that the “Bad Romance Novels” Tumbler linked above has been shuttered– for plagarizing its content, mostly from Uncle Walter’s Bad Romance Novel Quotes. Interested readers should hie themselves thither.
As we reaffirm the wisdom of keeping some things to ourselves, we might recall that it was on this date in 1927 that Mae West was sentenced to 10 days in a workhouse on Roosevelt Island (known then as “Welfare Island”) and fined $500 for obscenity for her play Sex… despite the fact that the play had run over a year before the police raided, and had been seen by 325,000 people– including members of the police department and their wives, judges of the criminal courts, and seven members of the district attorney’s staff. Still, the resulting publicity did great things for Ms. West’s notoriety nationwide.
Readers who are readers will be delighted to discover (if they haven’t already) Narrative Magazine, a wonderful web-based literary review (though there is also a thrice-yearly hard copy edition). Featuring fiction from the likes of Ann Beattie, Richard Bausch, James Salter, Elizabeth Benedict, and Amy Bloom, essays from folks like Gail Godwin, Larry McMurtry, and Rick Bass, it also showcases poetry and your correspondent’s special weakness: cartoons like the one above (use the pull-down on the page at the other end of that link to see other galleries).
The love-child of two Bay Area literati, Narrative is a 501-c3 devoted to Letters. It’s worthy of readers’ attention– and, dare your correspondent suggest, of their support.
* Jazz giant Charlie Parker would hang around a jukebox at one of the clubs he frequented, putting his coins in to play country-western songs. When friends finally asked him, “Why do you listen to that stuff?,” he reportedly replied, “It’s the stories, man, it’s the stories!” (source)… not altogether apropos, your correspondent confesses; but it is an awesome anecdote…
As we luxuriate in good literature, we might recall that it was on this date in 1812, just before he published the first two cantos of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, that George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron– aka Lord Byron– made his first speech in the House of Lords… as it happens, a defense of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire.