Another honor, this time dubious has been conferred on Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Norman Mailer. He died this month aged 84. On Tuesday, Mailer was declared the winner of the 2007 Bad Sex in Fiction Award for his latest work.
Mailer had been a hipster poet, director, occasional film actor, and even a New York City mayoral candidate in 1969. He won the 15th annual prize for his most recent book, "The Castle in the Forest", published this year.
Previous awardees include Booker prizewinner Salman Rushdie, A A Gill and Melvyn Bragg. It was originally designed to "draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it."
"We are sure that he would have taken the prize in good humor," the judges were quoted of Mailer. The panel commended the "variety of his work, his innovative journalism, his combative spirit and his love of life".
This is the first time the award has been given posthumously. Mailer's award-winning passage alluded to the penis as an "old battering ram". Indian author Aniruddha Bahal, who won the award in 2003, had described sex as a "cross-country" rally.
Mailer who died of renal failure, wrote more than 40 works with diverse styles and themes. He achieved the rare honor of being awarded the Pulitzer Prize twice. He also wrote a famous essay against feminism in 1971, which prompted prominent feminist Kate Millet to call him "the ultimate male chauvinist pig."
Among the other nominees were Richard Milward's Apples, Ali Smith for Girl Meets Boy and Gary Shteyngart's Absurdistan.