LONDON (Reuters) - Jonathan Littell, who won France’s prestigious Prix Goncourt in 2006 for “The Kindly Ones,” has picked up another prize for the same work — the Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award.
The annual prize was contested this year by literary heavyweights Philip Roth for “The Humbling,” John Banville for “The Infinites” and Paul Theroux for “A Dead Hand.”
The judges praised what they called Littell’s “ambitious and impressive” novel, which was originally published in French.
“It is in part a work of genius,” they said.
“However, a mythologically inspired passage and lines such as ‘I came suddenly, a jolt that emptied my head like a spoon scraping the inside of a soft-boiled egg’ clinched the award for The Kindly Ones.
“We hope he takes it in good humor.”
Littell was not expected to attend the prize ceremony in London.
The award was established by Auberon Waugh in 1993. It is designed to draw attention to the “crude, tasteless, and often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in contemporary novels, and to discourage it.”
Reporting by Mike Collett-White; editing by Patricia Reaney