Saturday, August 29, 2015

New to the Wiki: Interview with Mary Jo Putney, Lesbian Romance Comics, Male and Female Sentences

I've just made 3 new additions to the Romance Wiki Bibliography:

Faktorovich, Anna, 2015. 
Gender Bias in Mystery and Romance Novel Publishing: Mimicking Masculinity and Femininity. (Stone Mountain, GA: Anaphora Literary P.). [You can "look inside" via]
It is a linguistic, literary stylistic, and structurally formalist analysis of the male and female “sentences” in the genres that have the greatest gender divide: romances and mysteries. The analysis will search for the historical roots that solidified what many think of today as a “natural” division. Virginia Woolf called it the fabricated “feminine sentence,” and other linguists have also identified clear sex-preferential differences in Anglo-American, Swedish and French novels. Do female mystery writers adopt a masculine voice when they write mysteries? Are female-penned mysteries structurally or linguistically different from their male competitors’, and vice versa among male romance writers? The first part can be used as a textbook for gender stylistics, as it provides an in-depth review of prior research. The second part is an analysis of the results of a survey on readers’ perception of gender in passages from literature. The last part is a linguistic and structural analysis of actual statistical differences between the novels in the two genres, considering the impact of the author’s gender.
Faktorovich, Anna, 2015. 
"Interview with Mary Jo Putney, Best-Selling Romance Author." Pennsylvania Literary Journal 7.2
This is available in full for free online and in it Faktorovich comments that
In my research for a book on gender bias in romance and mystery publishing, I found that most female romance novelists were married, while most female mystery novelists were divorced or otherwise had many negative relationships in their past.
Putney remarks that
A good thing about genre romance is that the happy ending is guaranteed, so it’s a safe space to explore topics that can be painful such as domestic abuse and alcoholism. Such stories interest me, so that’s what I write.
Wood, Andrea, 2015. 
"Making the Invisible Visible: Lesbian Romance Comics for Women." Feminist Studies 41.2: 293-334. [Excerpt]

And there are also 2 new items which I've added to the "in the media" section of the bibliography:
Gracie, Anne, 2015. 'Opinion: Romance rethlink', Good Reading, Jul 2015: 26-28. Abstract only:
Frou-frou fables for people starved of real love, or empowering stories that bring hope and happiness? Romance novels are perhaps more loved and more derided than any other book genre. Anne Gracie, a bestselling romance writer herself, recounts how she went from sneering at romance to writing it.

Grimaldi, Christine, 2015. '“Happily Ever After” for African-American Romance Novelists', The Rumpus, August 18th, 2015.

It's a long article which gets more interesting (I think) once it gets past the first couple of paragraphs, about the Popular Romance Project's launch at the Library of Congress. For instance, Grimaldi notes that the
publishing industry [...] self-identifies as 89 percent white, 3 percent Asian, 3 percent Hispanic, and just 1 percent African-American, according to a 2014 Publisher’s Weekly survey. Case in point: At the conference, Jenkins shared a story about feedback she received on one of her manuscripts. “We all know what ‘[keeping it on the] down low’ means, right? Well, the copyeditor did not,” she said. Judging from the laughter in the room, the audience, and especially her fans, got it. “And she sent me back a little note that said, ‘This is not correct. You should say, ‘Keep it on the low shelf.’ And I said, ‘How about I don’t say that?’ So you know, you’ve got to have a sense of humor to do this.”
It's available in full, for free, online here.

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