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Italy's Erri De Luca wins dreaded Bad Sex in Fiction prize

Posted November 30

— Acclaimed Italian novelist Erri De Luca has added a somewhat tarnished trophy to his list of accolades — the Bad Sex in Fiction Award.

De Luca won the tongue-in-cheek prize Wednesday for "The Day Before Happiness," the story of a Neapolitan orphan growing up after World War II.

Judges said they were swayed by a description of two lovers "like ballet dancers hovering en pointe." They said De Luca's victory "is a reminder that, even in the wake of Brexit, bad sex knows no borders."

A novelist, poet, essayist and translator, De Luca is the 24th winner of the Bad Sex prize, awarded by the Literary Review magazine to spotlight "poorly written, perfunctory or redundant" sex writing.

Explicitly pornographic works aren't eligible.

Past winners include Norman Mailer and Tom Wolfe.

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