Mumbai-born writer Manil Suri on Tuesday night became the unenviable recipient of the Bad Sex in Fictin Award for 2013 for passages in his book, The City of Devi published in 2013.
The award, set up in 1993 by Literary Review magazine, is a tongue-in-cheek annual ritual in London's literary calender. Previous winners include Indian writer Aniruddha Bahal in 2003 for Bunker 13.
Suri, a Mathematics professor based in the United States, was not in London to receive the award for third novel based in Mumbai. Bloomsbury, his publisher, received it on his behalf and pointed out that some reviewers had praised the novel's sex scenes.
Bloomsbury said: "In accepting this award we challenge everyone to make up their own mind about Manil Suri's The City of Devi. As Tolstoy said in Anna Karenina, 'There are as many kinds of love as there are hearts'".
One passage in Suri's book reads: 'Surely supernovas explode that instant, somewhere, in some galaxy.
'The hut vanishes, and with it the sea and the sands - only Karun's body, locked with mine, remains.
'We streak like superheroes past suns and solar systems, we dive through shoals of quarks and atomic nuclei. In celebration of our breakthrough fourth star, statisticians the world over rejoice.'
Other contenders for the prize this year were Susan Choi, Rupert Thompson and Woody Guthrie.
The award is in the form of a "semi-abstract trophy representing sex in the 1950s", which depicts a naked woman draped over an open book. The award was originally established by Rhoda Koenig, a literary critic, and Auberon Waugh, the former editor of 'Literary Review'.
The idea behind 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"