Ian McEwan may have been passed over for the Booker, but he may yet end the year with a gong in his hand. Although the climax of On Chesil Beach revolves around the fact that it is, in fact, an anti-climax, it is enough to garner him a nomination for the Literary Review's Bad Sex award.
He is joined on the longlist of what the organisers call Britain's "most dreaded literary prize" by Jeanette Winterson with a passage about robotic sex from The Stone Gods; Ali Smith for Girl Meets Boy, and Gary Shteyngart with an athletic description of his crass hero from Absurdistan bedding one of his many conquests ("Her vagina was all that, as they say in the urban media - a powerful ethnic muscle scented by bitter melon, the breezes of the local sea, and the sweaty needs of a tiny nation trying to breed itself into a future").
Read more about the contest. And here's part of an angry retort from Erica Jong, who was nominated in 1998:
I consider it an honor to have ''Of Blessed Memory'' (''Inventing Memory'' in the American edition) singled out as having passages ''too crude and anatomical to be read aloud.'' If I were deemed kosher by that classist, racist, misogynistic bunch of criticasters, I would consider it time to retire my pens and legal pads.