Thursday, 2 December 2010

Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award

Monday night brought the best party of the year - the Literary Review's (s)extravaganza, which takes place at the In and Out Club in St James' Square. This year was no exception to the festive excellence: the room was crammed with literary and other types right from the beginning. It's a place where Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey can be seen next to Nadira Naipaul; where Rachel Johnson of The Lady (an ex-winner of the prize for her novel Notting Hell) can be spotted with Nicky Haslam; soldier Patrick Hennessey appeared briefly; Latinist extraordinaire Harry Mount; actresses Olivia Grant and Daisy Lewis; novelist Elspeth Barker; biographers Anne Somerset and Jane Ridley; writer Louise Guinness; literary editors, journalists, teenagers and liggers; it's the only party where the young and the old mingle happily, much as at Margot Metroland's parties in Vile Bodies. All washed down, of course, with laudatory amounts of champagne and Hendrick's gin. Alexander Waugh, as always, compered the readings wittily and smoothly. The winner was Rowan Somerville (pictured), who very sportingly accepted the prize, saying that there was nothing so English as Bad Sex; it was given by Michael Winner, who said he'd prefer to be at home watching I'm A Celebrity... . Not the done thing, Mr Winner. Courtney Love once gave the prize - she was much more gracious. Aside from the rudeness of Mr Winner, it was a marvellously exciting evening. A toast: to Auberon Waugh and the Literary Review!

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