Former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell is in the running for the unenviable Bad Sex in Literature Award.
The former adviser to Tony Blair was nominated for the tongue-in-cheek prize for his second novel Maya.
The award, run by Literary Review, is handed out for the most embarrassing passage of sexual description in a novel.
Maya, which was published in February, is about an A-list movie star and her relationship with a life-long friend.
Other nominated books included Freedom by US novelist Jonathan Franzen, and the Man Booker long-listed novel The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas.
Compilers of the list said veteran authors Martin Amis and Ian McEwan had missed out despite being widely tipped to be nominated for the prize.
The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon, A Life Apart by Neel Mukherjee, Heartbreak by Craig Raine, The Shape of Her by Rowan Somerville and Mr Peanut by Adam Ross were also nominated for the 18th annual award.
Last year, the prize went to Jonathan Littell for The Kindly Ones, which was originally published in French.
Organisers said the award was given to “draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it.”
This year’s winner will be announced on Monday, November 29 at the Naval and Military Club in St James’s Square, London.