Bookplanet: In defense of romance writing
'There is more than a tinge of sexism to the disparaging treatment of romantic novelists. Women writing for women about issues other women are interested in are not taken seriously by the male-dominated cabal that rules lit crit. Why else would Louis de Bernières' unashamedly romantic Captain Corelli's Mandolin be regarded as better literature than Joanna Trollope's dark tales of tangled love? It is not a question of commercial snobbery: both sell shed-loads and score highly among reading groupies. It cannot be thematic either. Romantic novelists frequently tackle tough issues: Adele Parks wrote about female infidelity in her first book Playing Away and has since tackled divorce and bigamy. "I do feel that because we live in a patriarchal society, men try to invalidate what women find interesting, and women are interested in reading about relationships," says Marian Keyes. "I am dismissed as writing chick lit, which is an incredibly pejorative label, but I am writing about post-feminist women."
Romance sells better than anything else. "While everybody puts down romance, Nora Roberts defies all expectations, and earns far more than all the men in the US." And maybe that is part of the problem too. Romance is popular, and growing more popular by the year, whatever the critics may think.' More here. Aren't Anna Karenina, Vanity Fair, Madame Bovary and Pride and Prejudice romance novels?