Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


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Bad Sex (brace yourself)
The annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award has been handed out by the Literary Review. The dishonour for 2009 goes to Jonathan Littell for a passage in his book The Kindly Ones. Herewith, the offending words (seriously, brace yourself):

Her vulva was opposite my face. The small lips protruded slightly from the pale, domed flesh. This sex was watching at me, spying on me, like a Gorgon's head, like a motionless Cyclops whose single eye never blinks. Little by little this silent gaze penetrated me to the marrow. My breath sped up and I stretched out my hand to hide it: I no longer saw it, but it still saw me and stripped me bare (whereas I was already naked). If only I could still get hard, I thought, I could use my prick like a stake hardened in the fire, and blind this Polyphemus who made me Nobody. But my cock remained inert, I seemed turned to stone. I stretched out my arm and buried my middle finger into this boundless eye. The hips moved slightly, but that was all. Far from piercing it, I had on the contrary opened it wide, freeing the gaze of the eye still hiding behind it. Then I had an idea: I took out my finger and, dragging myself forward on my forearms, I pushed my forehead against this vulva, pressing my scar against the hole. Now I was the one looking inside, searching the depths of this body with my radiant third eye, as her own single eye irradiated me and we blinded each other mutually: without moving, I came in an immense splash of white light, as she cried out: 'What are you doing, what are you doing?' and I laughed out loud, sperm still gushing in huge spurts from my penis, jubilant, I bit deep into her vulva to swallow it whole, and my eyes finally opened, cleared, and saw everything.

All I can say is, well done Literary Review.

Rounding up the roundups
"Best books" roundups continue to pop up across the web:

University dropout book sells for record figure
The Boston Globe reports that a rare book by an author who dropped out of the University of Virginia and who wanted to be known simply as "a Bostonian" sold at auction last week for $662,500 USD. Described as "legendarily morbid" by the Globe, it can be none other than Edgar Allen Poe.

Sale 2227
The Poe edition above was sold by Christie's last week in an auction of Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts. The sale (#2227) saw 210 lots on the block, including a letter from Ernest Hemingway to his father (lot 67) which sold for $8,750 USD, a letter from Percy Bysshe Shelley (lot 119) which sold for $30,000 USD, and Cormack McCarthy's broken typewriter (lot 84) which sold for $254,500 USD.

Do you have Dr Who on DVD?
The BBC reports that a phone box in Somerset, England has been converted into a library with an inventory of 100 books, CDs and DVDs.

Digging Shakespeare
Archaeologists in England, reports the Times, are digging at the site of William Shakespeare's last home, where he wrote The Tempest.

Interactive Dickens
The New York Times has a marvelous interactive gallery of pages from Charles Dickens' original handwritten manuscript for "Christmas Carol". (If you use Adblock, you must disable it to see the gallery.)

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Shaun Smith

Shaun Smith is a novelist and journalist living in Toronto. His young adult novel Snakes & Ladders was published in January 2009 by the Dundurn Group.

Go to Shaun Smith ’s Author Page