Friday, February 18, 2011

List: 'Good Sex Award'

Today’s ‘List Friday’. Last 10 December I devoted the List Friday post to the ‘Bad Sex in Fiction Award’ [1]. In that post I noted that on Laura Miller (pictured) [2] deprecated the Award. In her 30 November salon piece titled ‘No sex, please, we’re literary!’, she wrote ‘…the only antidote to the smirking crypto-priggishness of the Bad Sex in Fiction Award and its ilk: forthright praise for the literary sex writing that does work’ [3]. In response to salon readers’ feedback on Miller’s piece, eight days ago Miller announced salon’s ‘Good Sex Award’ [4]. The methodology’s sus, to say the least: Miller asked her friends to nominate their favorite passages about sex in novels published in 2010. The selections had to be the best-written, most interesting and most convincing pieces of sex writing. Miller whittled the responses down to eight which four judges, including Miller, ranked. Here’s are the eight in ranked order [5]. And here are the judges’ thoughts on ‘What makes a good sex scene?’ [6]. Methinks it’s all quite subjective. For example Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom is on the shortlist for the 2010 ‘Bad Sex Award’ [7] yet it was runner-up in the 2011 ‘Good Sex Award’. Ho hum.
P.S. salon’s inviting its readers to send in their nominations for the 2012 ‘Good Sex Award’. That’s more democratic than nominations being submitted only by Miller’s friends.

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