Romancing Arianna

Over at the Huffington Post, writer Joanne Rendell provided a terrific report/critique on the recent Princeton Symposium, Love as the Practice of Freedom? Romance Fiction and American Culture. In the article, she points out that even the pro-romance pros present didn’t quite go far enough in their analysis of why romance is proving so recession-proof.

Here’s a snippet:


“Although Crusie wasn’t talking specifically about the appeal of romance in this recession, it struck me that these “emotionally just landscapes” are perfect antidotes for our current times. When shady Madoffs are making off with billions of dollars and banking executives are awarding themselves huge bonuses from bailout monies (while the rest of us watch our 401ks disappear like puddles in the midday sun), the appeal of a world where integrity and honesty are rewarded seems obvious.

But as the Princeton conference continued,…I realized that it was too hasty to rush to this conclusion. Romances are not one kind of thing. Neither are their readers. And to draw fast conclusions about the genre and its audience is to perpetuate the kind of stereotyping which has always made romance the “most maligned of literary texts.”


Click over to HuffPo for the complete article, “Heaving Bosoms: A Tonic for the Recession?

The heaving bosoms in the title, btw, refer to the wonderfully outrageous book by Candy Tan and Sarah Wendell: Beyond Heaving Bosoms, The SmartBitches Guide to Romance Novels (CLICK HERE to buy at B& This story came by way of their blog, SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.

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