It's not all that surprising, considering the subject matter. Nutting's novel focuses on a female teacher who has an affair with her 14-year-old male student. And Nutting doesn't go light on the sex scenes.
In an interview with Inside Edition, Nutting talks about the controversy, and explains why she wrote the book.
"There's a lot of sex but it's also very much a commentary on gendered expectations in today's society, and how for women, sort of the biggest emphasis is: 'you need to be young and beautiful,' and if you are young and beautiful, what you can get away with because of it."
Nutting reveals that she went to high school with Debra Lafave. Lafave was arrested in 2004 for sexual encounters with a 14-year-old student. Her lawyer attempted to defend her on the basis of her attractiveness: "To place Debbie into a Florida state women's penitentiary, to place an attractive young woman in that kind of hellhole, is like putting a piece of raw meat in with the lions."
Nutting notes that the scandal made her start paying attention to the "phenomenon" of female teachers sleeping with their male students.
As to the controversy of the book and its sex scenes, she states "I knew that it was going to be an exceptionally controversial book as I was writing it...I promised myself I would not tone it down as I was writing because I was worried about the response."
Tampa came out on July 2, and is available at bookstores nationwide.