Empowerment Versus Oppression: Twenty First Century Views of Popular Romance Novels
Cambridge Scholars Pub., 2007 - Literary Criticism - 272 pages
The title of Empowerment versus Oppression: Twenty-First Century Views of Popular Romance Novels comes from the central question evident in popular romance criticism for at least the past thirty years: Are women readers (and writers) oppressed by their commitment to a narrative with an essentially patriarchal, heterosexual relationship at its center, or are they somehow empowered by their ability to create, escape to, and transform the romance narrative into a vehicle for reimagining women's freedom within relationships? While building on the work of early critics, who provided theories with which to agree, tinker, and argue, these selections add something new to the conversation, whether it be a new perspective from a unique group of readers (we hear from readers in Hong Kong and India), an examination of a particular romance subtype (included are Christian, African-American, and Gothic novels, as well as those set in Las Vegas and the Middle East), or a new way of presenting a critical response (we have a romance novelist's controversial reflection, a critique of the industry as creative enterprise, an examination of students negotiating with romance, and established critics-including Kay Mussell and Tania Modleski-rewriting their favorite romances).
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