Page last updated at 20:00 GMT, Monday, 30 November 2009

Jonathan Littell wins the bad sex in fiction prize

Jonathan Littell, winner of the 2009 Literary Review's Bad Sex in Fiction award
Littell's book also picked up a top French literary award book

Author Jonathan Littell has won the 17th annual Bad Sex In Fiction Award, for his novel The Kindly Ones.

The book, which was originally published in French, won the Prix Goncourt in 2006 and has sold over a million copies in Europe.

Judges at the Literary Review gave him the bad sex prize for a passage that begins: "This sex was watching at me, spying on me, like a Gorgon's head".

The award was accepted by Littell's agent. He has yet to comment.

In one excerpt, the author describes a sexual encounter as "a jolt that emptied my head like a spoon scraping the inside of a soft-boiled egg".

The Literary Review said Littell's book was "in part a work of genius", adding they hoped the author would take their dishonour "in good humour".

The shortlist for the prize also included works by Paul Theroux and musician Nick Cave.

Last year, the award was won by Rachel Johnson for Shire Hell.

The late John Updike won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2008 ceremony, after his novel The Widows of Eastwick garnered him a fourth consecutive nomination.

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