(AFP) – Nov 27, 2007
LONDON (AFP) — Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Norman Mailer, who died this month aged 84, was Tuesday declared the winner of the 2007 Bad Sex in Fiction Award for his latest work.
Mailer, a hipster poet, director, occasional film actor, and even a New York City mayoral candidate in 1969, won the 15th annual prize for his most recent book, "The Castle in the Forest", which was published this year.
Previous winners of the dubious prize, first awarded in 1993 by the Literary Review, include Booker prize-winner Salman Rushdie, A.A. Gill and Melvyn Bragg.
It was originally created to "draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it."
"We are sure that he would have taken the prize in good humour," the judges said of Mailer, whom they described as a "great American man of letters".
The panel commended the "variety of his work, his innovative journalism, his combative spirit and his love of life".
It is the first time the award has been given posthumously.
Mailer's award-winning passage described a penis as an "old battering ram" -- by comparison, Indian author Aniruddha Bahal, who won the award in 2003, described sex as a "cross-country" rally.
The author, who died of renal failure, penned more than 40 works with diverse styles and themes, and achieved the rare honour of being awarded the Pulitzer Prize twice.
He also wrote a famous essay railing against feminism in 1971, prompting prominent feminist Kate Millet to label him "the ultimate male chauvinist pig."
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