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Man Booker-Winning Author Feels Obligated to Write Graphic Sex

Julian Barnes - Peoplewhowrite

Julian Barnes – Peoplewhowrite

In a piece on The Telegraph, 2011 Man Booker winner Julian Barnes doesn’t mention E.L. James‘ publishing industry phenomenon Fifty Shades of Gray, but he does admit he and his contemporaries feel a “commercial obligation to write in a detailed way about sex.” Barnes is backed up by Jonathan Reeves, an editor at Amberley Publishing, who says the pressure to write graphic sex scenes has seeped into non-fiction too; citing a recent title involving sex and the Tudors. “It certainly doesn’t hurt.”

Barnes says the discomfort with writing sexy lit lies in the fear of writing cliche scenes, as well as a paranoia that readers will assume the writing is a revelation of the writer’s private sex fantasies.

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