On Crack For Intellectuals
Tonight, Book Culture is pleased to celebrate the release of Eloisa James' new book, Seven Minutes in Heaven. In anticipation, we're sharing this guest post from the author herself.
A few years ago, a CNN producer asked me: “Don’t you just write porn for women?” Her comment wasn’t personal; romance as a genre is often labeled “foolish, offensive, and indecent,” to borrow from George Bernard Shaw’s reaction to a romance. He was talking about Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, but my fellow authors are used to that sort of insult.
Like crack, our books are considered dangerous, possibly addictive, consumable only by those without college degrees. Indy bookstores tell me, all evidence to the contrary, that their readers never touch a romance. Yet market research shows that the readership for my historical bestsellers overlaps with a literary readership, focused in cities and among college educated. In fact, one of my closest friends, an English professor at Columbia University, calls my books “crack for intellectuals.”
Book Culture—with its intellectual readers—has bravely given me three shelves to curate: three shelves to fill with extremely well written, fun, escapist examples of the romance genre. Think of me—and my three shelves—as the dealer lurking by the playground.
Try one…you might like it. You might turn your back on Cymbeline. You might escape to a happier place. You might never come back.
Thank you, Eloisa! Please join us tonight, January 31st at 7pm, at Book Culture on Columbus to celebrate Seven Minutes in Heaven!
Eloisa James is a Shakespeare professor at Fordham University and author of 22 New York Times bestselling historical romances. She’s the mother of two, and wrote a memoir, the bestseller Paris in Love, about the year her family moved to France. In a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, she is married to a genuine Italian knight.
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