LONDON (Reuters) - Writer Norman Mailer, a giant of the American literary scene and twice a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, was posthumously given the Bad Sex in Fiction Award on Tuesday.
“We are sure that he would have taken the prize in good humour,” the judges said of the award to Mailer, who died on Nov 10 of kidney failure at the age of 84.
They paid homage to Mailer as a great American man of letters and hailed his “innovative journalism, his combative spirit and his love of life”.
However, they could not resist awarding him the prize for a graphic passage in his novel “The Castle in the Forest.”
The award most dreaded by authors was established in 1993 by the late Auberon Waugh when he was editor-in-chief of The Literary Review. Previous winners have included U.S. writer Tom Wolfe and British author Sebastian Faulks.
Mailer, renowned for his biting prose, penchant for controversy and larger-than-life personality, had provoked and enraged readers with his acerbic views on U.S. politics and the wars in Vietnam and Iraq.
The winning passage, which leaves little to the imagination, begins: “So Klara turned head to foot and put her most unmentionable part down on his hard-breathing nose and mouth and took his old battering ram into her lips.”
Reporting by Paul Majendie; editing by Andrew Dobbie