Romance Fiction and American Culture: Love as the Practice of Freedom?

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William A. Gleason, Eric Murphy Selinger
Routledge, May 15, 2017 - Literary Criticism - 456 pages
Since the 1970s, romance novels have surpassed all other genres in terms of popularity in the United States, accounting for half of all mass market paperbacks sold and driving the digital publishing revolution. Romance Fiction and American Culture brings together scholars from the humanities, social sciences, and publishing to explore American romance fiction from the late eighteenth to the early twenty-first century. Essays on interracial, inspirational, and LGBTQ romance attend to the diversity of the genre, while new areas of inquiry are suggested in contextual and interdisciplinary examinations of romance authorship, readership, and publishing history, of pleasure and respectability in African American romance fiction, and of the dynamic tension between the genre and second wave feminism. As it situates romance fiction among other instances of American love culture, from Civil War diaries to Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks, Romance Fiction and American Culture confirms the complexity and enduring importance of this most contested of genres.

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List of Figures
Pamela Crosses the Atlantic or Pamela Andrewss Story
The Southern Belles Love
American Romance Publishing in
The Flame and the Flower
Pleasure Respectability
American Romance in Black and White
Boon 1920
Boon 1927
1966 paperback
Discourses of Passion and Professionalism
Bob Dylan Ekphrasis and the
Marriage as Triangle
Inspiring Convention and Challenge

Romancing Zanes Urban Erotica
Orientalism Freedom and Feminism in Popular Romance
The Transformative Power of Whiteness
A Brief Transatlantic History of Romance
Popular Romance Narratives
Queer Romance in Twentieth and TwentyFirstCentury

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About the author (2017)

William A. Gleason is Professor of English at Princeton University, USA, and Eric Murphy Selinger is Professor of English at DePaul University, USA.

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