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Sunday, November 30, 2008

A dubious award

The Literary Review presented this year's Bad Sex Award to novelist Rachel Johnson who swears she's honored to have been selected. So maybe she wrote the following passage (from her novel Shire Hell) with the award in mind:

Shire Hell by Rachel Johnson

JM comes over and pushes me gently back down on the fake fur. I try to rise up to kiss him – it's so lovely, the kissing – but he pushes me down, again. He likes to kiss me all over before he does anything else. He starts with my eyes, and plants a tender kiss on each lid.

...He moves on to my ears, a kiss that makes my nipples stand erect, and me emit little moans that drown out to my own ears the loud, distracting sound of Cumberbatch swiping dock leaves and tearing nettles and long grasses very close to the rickety stoop.

JM's hands are caressing my breasts, now, and I am allowed to kiss him back, but not for long, for he breaks off, to give each breast the attention it deserves. As he nibbles and pulls with his mouth, his hands find my bush, and with light fingers he flutters about there, as if he is a moth caught inside a lampshade.(huh?)

Almost screaming after five agonizingly pleasurable minutes, I make a grab, to put him, now angrily slapping against both our bellies, inside, but he holds both by arms down, and puts his tongue to my core, like a cat lapping up a dish of cream so as not to miss a single drop. I find myself gripping his ears and tugging at the locks curling over them, beside myself, and a strange animal noise escapes from me as the mounting, Wagnerian (Wagner would be so pleased) crescendo overtakes me. I really do hope at this point that all the Spodders are, as requested, attending the meeting about slug clearance or whatever it is.

© Rachel Johnson

I don't know that Ms. Johnson should have won this award. I think author Russell Banks blows her out of the water with his metaphor of a third-body convergence with its way weird "contrasts and inversions":

Russell Banks

Jordan Groves and Vanessa Von Heidenstamm did not notice the approaching darkness. They were still immersed in their lovemaking. It had begun slowly, tenderly, face-to-face, with long, lingering looks at each other, like devoted siblings at the start of a long absence taking their last leave of each other, gathering in all the details they had neglected to notice up to now. They removed their clothes, their own and each other's, delicately, precisely, as if preparing to model for an artist, and once naked, seated side by side on the bed, they turned to face each other, and with their hands on each other's bare shoulders, they kissed – sweetly, as if in relief and gratitude for having come to the peaceful end of a painfully protracted argument. And then they embraced and with their hands caressed each other's breasts and backs and arms – her skin smooth and creamy and soft as fine silk, his alabaster white and tautly drawn over muscle and bone – and their separate bodies gradually lost their boundaries and merged into a third body, one that contained all their female and male differences and erased all their anatomical contrasts and inversions.
© Russell Banks


Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 11/30/2008 04:38:00 PM Permanent Link     | | Home


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