For more romance writer-related links, go to the MENU and search by Author:
- Johanna Lindsey Fan Page
- LIFE MAGAZINE: EIGHT WHO WRITE OF LOVE FOR MONEY Reaping the Wild Rewards of Romance November 1981 Writing: Jennifer Allen
The Cinderella Romance Novels by: Erin McCrossan (Author)
from: The Cinderella Bibliography 2002 U. of Rochester
Abstract: The success of the romance novel industry is astonishing. Despite having been ignored and dismissed by “high culture” critics and academics as frivolous mass art, romance fiction accounts for a staggering 54 percent of paperback sales, according to the Romance Writers of America. Harlequin sold 158 million books worldwide last year in more than 100 international markets and in 26 languages (“On Writing Romance” n.pag.). Much of Harlequin’s success may be due to advances in the publishing industry as well as aggressive marketing techniques on the part of the romance publishers (Radway 32, Modleski 35). However, there must be something about these novels that addresses real concerns and, to some degree, fulfills its audience’s desires. What is it about the novels that makes women read them again and again, when they already know the essential plotline? The happy ending and temporary hope are the obvious answers. The ease of the language makes the novels accessible to everyone. The “flight from reality,” which Radway addresses in her seminal study, Reading the Romance (1984), is one possible answer, although her argument may also apply to other genres. But there must be more to it. What deep desires are addressed in these novels that keep readers, particularly women, coming back for more?
One reason these novels are so popular might be because they draw on fairy tale conventions. Both the obvious parallels between both genres, as well as the coded symbols, serve to address issues that often occur in adolescence (Bettleheim 236). A compelling sub-genre of romances is the collection of novels that closely follow the Cinderella story, highlighting certain themes that are common in adolescence: appearance, inferiority, conflicting emotions, budding sexuality, and sibling rivalry. In reading fifty-nine such romance novels, mostly written in 1990 or later, all with “Cinderella” in the title or somewhere on the back cover, I have been able to track these themes and begin to correlate the popularity of romance novels with that of the fairy tale. Of course, I can only make claims for the specific genre of “Cinderella romances,” but my speculation is that these claims can be extended to include all romances, Harlequin or otherwise, since they share many of the same themes, even if they are not explicitly labeled and marketed with fairy tale associations. In addition, I have been able to compare, to some degree, older novels to contemporary novels to come to several conclusions regarding the desires that these novels address.
- Eastern Kentucky University, Defending the Bodice Ripper by Dora Abigail Gardner: Abstract – Romance novels have always occupied a strange state of limbo in the literary world…The term “bodice-ripper” has long been used in a derogatory fashion to describe the popular romance genre dating back to the 1970s. A closer examination of these books shows that such hatred is far from justified. Said examination will reveal that so-called bodice-rippers are an important part of not only the history of the popular romance genre but serve as feminist and cultural artifacts that can help modern readers and scholars to better understand the position and feelings of women in the 70s and 80s.
- Researchgate.com has research papers analyzing romance that can be read or downloaded as a PDF. “Romance Fiction and American Culture: Love as the Practice of Freedom?” by Sarah Frantz Lyons and Eric Murphy Selinger, Chapter 5 discusses: Romance Fiction and American Culture: Love as the Practice of Freedom? Strange Stirrings, Strange Yearnings: The Flame and the Flower, Sweet Savage Love, and the lost diversities of Blockbuster historical romance
- The Atlantic discusses bodice rippers and the feminist evolution of historical romance
- A Family Tree of Paperback Books
- Washington Post: How Romance Found Its Happily Ever After
Romance Blogs and Sites to Follow:
Goodreads Talks About Romance:
Goodreads has several groups where you can discuss bodice rippers, Harlequins, category romance, and historical romance, both past and present:
- Cosmopolitan.com does a hilarious send-up of covers: 10 Unretouched Romance Novels Reenacted by Real People
- Jezebel.com takes a look at The Steamy, Throbbing History of Romance Novel Covers
- #[email protected]
- The Swoon Society talks about Elaine Duillo
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