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December 5, 2012

Bad sex award goes to Nancy Huston’s ‘babies and bedazzlements’

InfraredInfrared, by much garlanded Canadian novelist, wins dubious honour for explicit writing.

By Maev Kennedy

A long, shuddering gasp of relief will no doubt have been heard from the losers, as the Canadian author Nancy Huston scooped the least coveted book award of the year, the Literary Review’s Bad Sex prize, for her 14th novel, Infrared, about a woman who likes to snap her lovers in the throes of passion.

The judges were seduced by her vivid imagery, which included such descriptions as “flesh, that archaic kingdom that brings forth tears and terrors, nightmares, babies and bedazzlements”, and “my sex swimming in joy like a fish in water”.

Huston, who now lives in Paris, was either too busy or too bashful to attend the ceremony in London, but 400 guests raised a toast to her, none more heartily than the authors she vanquished, who include the distinguished BBC Newsnight economics editor Paul Mason, poet Craig Raine and veteran novelist Tom Wolfe, a previous winner in 2004.

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