Bad sex award: shortlist announced for ‘Britain’s most dreaded literary prize’

Dubious honour lines up contenders for the years most outstandingly awful sexual scene, with Elizabeth Gilbert and Didier Decoin among the nominees Describing itself as Britains most dreaded literary prize, the Literary Reviews Bad sex in fiction award has unveiled this years shortlist, which ranges from Elizabeth Gilbert, the bestselling author of Eat Pray Love, to the acclaimed French novelist Didier Decoin. Dreamed up in 1993 by the Literary Reviews the editor Auberon Waugh and critic Rhoda Koenig, the award is for the years most outstandingly awful scene of sexual description in an otherwise good novel. It is intended to draw attention to the poorly written, redundant, or downright cringeworthy passages of sexual description in modern fiction. This years contenders …

Lionel Shriver returns to Australia and doubles down on ‘fascistic’ identity politics

Three years after controversial speech in Brisbane, US author denounces cultural control, obedience and conformism Three years after vowing never to return to Australia, author Lionel Shriver says she stands by her controversial keynote speech at the Brisbane writers festival in 2016, calling identity politics fascistic. Sunday night marked the American novelists first appearance in Australia since that controversial tour, despite her having released two books in the intervening years. Shrivers 2016 address on fiction and identity politics, she said she hoped the concept of cultural appropriation is a passing fad, received widespread backlash. Sudanese-Australian writer Yassmin Abdel-Magied walked out of the event midway, later ABCs Q&A on Monday night where she will be joined by Black Lives Matter activist …

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert review the glamour of New York

The Eat, Pray, Love authors romp through 1940s Manhattan is a glorious, multilayered celebration of womanhood There are some writers who are destined to be judged on one outlandish success.Robert Galbraith for nothing. But when your name is Elizabeth Gilbert and that book is A Signature of All Things, its so true to life in places including real historical figures in the story that it occasionally feels like pastiche. Elizabeth Gilbert Photograph: ddp USA/REX Shutterstock But Gilbert is nothing if not emotionally intuitive, and while City of Girls is unquestionably a sexy, glamorous romp, its similarities with vaudeville end there. The plot bristles with moral intent: Vivians fall, when it inevitably comes, is complete and damning and utterly gendered, its …