Literary Review

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This article is about the British literary magazine. For the American literary magazine, see The Literary Review.
Literary Review
Literary Review.png
Editor Nancy Sladek
Frequency 11 per year
Circulation 44,750
First issue 1979
Country United Kingdom
Based in London
Language English
ISSN 0144-4360

Literary Review is a British literary magazine founded in 1979 by Anne Smith, then head of the Department of English at Edinburgh University. Its offices are currently on Lexington Street in Soho, London, and it has a circulation of 44,750.[1] 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, AS Byatt, Paul Johnson, David Starkey, John N. Gray, Robert Harris, Nick Hornby, Richard Ingrams, Joseph O'Neill, Lynn Barber, Derek Mahon, Oleg Gordievsky, John Sutherland and DJ 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 well known for its annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award. Each year since 1993, Literary Review presents the annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award to the author who produces the worst description of a sex scene in a novel. The award itself 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 originally established by Rhoda Koenig, a literary critic, and Auberon Waugh, then the magazine's editor.

The given rationale 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]



  1. ^ "Literary Review media kit (PDF)" (PDF). 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. ^ "Sean Thomas wins the Bad Sex in Fiction Award". PR Newswire (Press release). Retrieved 27 November 2007. 
  4. ^ "Bad sex book prize for journalist". BBC News. 1 December 2005. Retrieved 27 November 2007. 
  5. ^ "First-time author wins Bad Sex in Fiction honor". Associated Press. 29 November 2006. Retrieved 27 November 2007. 
  6. ^ "Late Mailer wins 'bad sex' award". BBC News. 27 November 2007. Retrieved 27 November 2007. 
  7. ^ "Author Somerville wins 'bad sex' literary prize". BBC News. 30 November 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  8. ^ Britain's Most Dreaded Literary Prize..., Literary Review article
  9. ^ Maev Kennedy (4 December 2012). "Bad sex award goes to Nancy Huston's 'babies and bedazzlements'". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  10. ^ Bad Sex 2014
  11. ^ "Morrissey wins Bad Sex in Fiction prize". BBC News. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 

External links[edit]