Literary Review

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Literary Review
Literary Review.png
Literary Review December 2018 cover.png
EditorNancy Sladek
Frequency11 per year
Circulation44,750[citation needed]
Year founded1979
CountryUnited Kingdom
Based inLondon

Literary Review is a British literary magazine founded in 1979 by Anne Smith, then head of the Department of English at the University of Edinburgh. Its offices are on Lexington Street in Soho, London, and it has a circulation of 44,750.[1][citation needed] The magazine was edited for fourteen years by veteran journalist Auberon Waugh. The current editor is Nancy Sladek.

The magazine reviews a wide range of published books, including fiction, history, politics, biography and travel. Contributors to the magazine have included Diana Athill, Kingsley Amis, Martin Amis, Beryl Bainbridge, John Banville, Julian Barnes, Maile Chapman, Hilary Mantel, John Mortimer, Malcolm Bradbury, A. S. Byatt, Paul Johnson, David Starkey, John Gray, Robert Harris, Nick Hornby, Richard Ingrams, Joseph O'Neill, Lynn Barber, Derek Mahon, Oleg Gordievsky, John Sutherland and D. J. Taylor. Literary Review also prints new fiction. Recently published authors include William Trevor, Claire Keegan and Nicola Barker.

Bad Sex in Fiction Award[edit]

Literary Review is known for its annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award. Each year since 1993, Literary Review has presented the annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award to the author who produces the worst description of a sex scene in a novel. The award is in the form of a "semi-abstract trophy representing sex in the 1950s",[2] which depicts a naked woman draped over an open book. The award was established by Rhoda Koenig, a literary critic, and Auberon Waugh, then the magazine's editor.

The award is "to draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it".[2]

A compendium of all the award winners, along with extracts of each winning story, has been compiled by creative magazine, Nothing in the Rulebook, and is available online.[3] The Guardian has also been keeping track of the Bad Sex in Fiction Award since 1999.[4]

The 2016 shortlisted entries for the award were published in November 2016. The shortlist featured six authors: Janet Ellis, Tom Connolly, Ethan Canin, Robert Seethaler, Gayle Forman, and Erri De Luca. The nominated extracts for which the authors were nominated were published online.[5]



  1. ^ "Literary Review media kit (PDF)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 October 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2008.
  2. ^ a b c "Third time 'lucky' for bad sex winner". BBC News. 3 December 2005. Retrieved 27 November 2007.
  3. ^ professorwu. "Bad Sex In Fiction Awards: The Connoisseur's Compendium". nothingintherulebook. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Bad Sex award | Page 3 of 3 | Books". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  5. ^ professorwu (17 November 2016). "Bad Sex in Fiction: extracts from the 2016 shortlist". nothingintherulebook. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Sean Thomas wins the Bad Sex in Fiction Award". PR Newswire (Press release). Retrieved 27 November 2007.
  7. ^ "Bad sex book prize for journalist". BBC News. 1 December 2005. Retrieved 27 November 2007.
  8. ^ "First-time author wins Bad Sex in Fiction honor". Associated Press. 29 November 2006. Retrieved 27 November 2007.
  9. ^ "Late Mailer wins 'bad sex' award". BBC News. 27 November 2007. Retrieved 27 November 2007.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Author Somerville wins 'bad sex' literary prize". BBC News. 30 November 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  12. ^ Britain's Most Dreaded Literary Prize..., Literary Review article
  13. ^ Maev Kennedy (4 December 2012). "Bad sex award goes to Nancy Huston's 'babies and bedazzlements'". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  14. ^ Bad Sex 2014
  15. ^ "Morrissey wins Bad Sex in Fiction prize". BBC News. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.

External links[edit]