LONDON — A cringe-inducing passage which compares a sexual encounter to battle with an one-eyed mythological monster was awarded Britain's Bad Sex in Fiction Prize on Monday.
The editors of the Literary Review magazine said best-selling American author Jonathan Littell won the prize for describing a sex act as "a jolt that emptied my head like a spoon scraping the inside of a soft-boiled egg."
The offending passage compared female genitalia to various Greek fiends, including the mythical monster Gorgon and "a motionless Cyclops whose single eye never blinks."
Littell beat other shortlisted authors including Paul Theroux and John Banville to the prize, which celebrates crude or ridiculous descriptions of sex in modern literature.
Littell's book, "The Kindly Ones," is a 900-page epic narrated by a fictional Nazi officer. Originally published in French, the international best-seller won France's top literary honor, the Goncourt Prize, in 2006.
Last year, the magazine gave the annual prize to British writer Rachel Johnson for a passage in her satirical novel "Shire Hell." John Updike was awarded a lifetime achievement award after he had been shortlisted for the prize four times in its 17-year history.
Literary Review said Littell's editor accepted the prize, but the author himself was not available for comment.
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