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Updike sexes up his resume

November 26, 2008|ASSOCIATED PRESS

It's not quite the Nobel Prize, but John Updike has a new literary accolade: laureate of bad sex.

Updike, who has a long and graphic history of detailing coupling on the page, won a lifetime achievement award Tuesday from judges of Britain's Bad Sex in Fiction Prize, which celebrates crude, tasteless or ridiculous sexual passages in modern literature.

The judges, editors of Literary Review magazine, said Updike had been shortlisted for the prize four times in its 16-year history. "Good sex or bad sex, he has kept us entertained for many years," they said.

The 76-year-old American novelist was a finalist for this year's Bad Sex prize for his description of an explosive oral encounter in his latest book, "The Widows of Eastwick," but lost to British writer Rachel Johnson.

Johnson won for a passage in her satirical novel "Shire Hell" that describes a woman in the midst of a "mounting, Wagnerian crescendo" wondering whether "the Spodders are, as requested, attending the meeting about slug clearance."

-- ASSOCIATED PRESS

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