Sunday, March 11, 2007

Romance Novels: Pornography or Literature?

In her last post, Sarah was looking at the distinction between 'erotica' and 'porn'. Her conclusions are very similar to the definitions given by Passionate Ink (the erotic romance special interest chapter of Romance Writers Of America):
Porn: stories written for the express purpose of causing sexual titillation. Plot, character development, and romance are NOT primary to these stories. They are designed to sexually arouse the reader and nothing else.
According to Passionate Ink, erotica is about 'the sexual journey of the characters and how this impacts them as individuals', whereas erotic romance is about 'the development of a romantic relationship through sexual interaction'. That might be clear, but it's certainly not the only definition of porn. Joseph W. Slade observes that
For most Americans, pornography means peep shows, striptease, live sex acts, hardcore videos, adult cable programming, sexual aids and devices, explicit telephone and computer messages, adult magazines, and raunchy fiction. Conservatives might add prime-time television programming, soap operas, Music Television (MTV) and rock music, romance novels, fashion magazines, and all R-rated movies. Conflating sexuality and violence leads some critics to think of sexual representations as inherently aggressive. Others, noticing that most sexual representations contain no violence, condemn only those examples that mix the two. (excerpt from Pornography in America: A Reference Handbook, via PBS, my emphasis)
The entry on pornography in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains that different people choose different criteria when defining what constitutes 'porn' and some of these critera, which may be used singly or in combination, are:
  • sexually explicit material
  • material which is obscene
  • material which includes the depiction of degrading and/or violent acts
  • material designed to create arousal in the viewer/reader
  • material which damages the viewer/reader and/or encourages the viewer/reader to harm others and/or harms those involved in the creation of the material
  • material lacking in artistic, literary, or political merit
Of course, judgements about what is 'lacking in literary merit', 'obscene', 'degrading' and 'damaging' are still highly subjective, so what is or isn't pornography remains very difficult to define.

Sexually explicit material

Many romances, including the inspirational romance sub-genre and the novels of authors such as Georgette Heyer and Betty Neels, contain no sexually explicit material, at least, not by contemporary Western standards, though as the Stanford Encyclopedia notes,
Displays of women's uncovered ankles count as sexually explicit in some cultures, but not in most western cultures nowadays (although they once did: the display of a female ankle in Victorian times was regarded as most risqué)
Nonetheless, derrogatory comments about the genre often focus on its depiction of sexuality. I've read of a comparison being made between reading romances and using prostitutes, for example, and in the 2006 Texas elections for State Comptroller, one candidate, Fred Head, described his opponent as 'the author of the pornographic book' and provided extracts of the sex scenes to prove his point. The book in question was a romance, and there were swift responses from many in the romance-reading community, including the Smart Bitches and All About Romance's Robin Uncapher. Anne Gracie listed this as the third of ten myths about the genre:
Myth #3* they're soft porn for women

I don't know how many times I've heard critics of romance read out salacious passages from a sexy M&B. I dare say I could pick out passages from almost any novel and mock it out of context. Cheap laughs.
Some romances contain sex scenes which would be difficult to mock even when taken out of context. Two sex scenes chosen for analysis by Rosina Lippi, Jennifer Crusie's Welcome to Temptation and Judith Ivory's Untie My Heart, fall into this category. Crusie's novel in fact includes characters who are involved in the making and viewing of pornography but as Lippi observes, although 'The passage sure comes across as explicit', 'there's no explicit vocabulary here, no naming of anatomy being engaged beyond breast'. Welcome to Temptation may be read as an exploration of the differences between porn and romance novels, but it isn't itself pornographic, at least not in my opinion.

Material designed to create arousal in the reader

Clearly some of the people who call romance 'pornography' do so because of the explicit sexual content in many romances. I don't, however, believe that this is the only criteria on which some people judge romances to be pornographic. Ann Barr Snitow, for example, in her essay 'Mass Market Romance: Pornography for Women is Different' was of the opinion that they are pornographic because they create arousal in the reader, they 'are written to elicit sexual excitation' (1983: 257), but not because they are obscene or explicit:
The Harlequin formula glorifies the distance between the sexes. Distance becomes titillating. [Note that this is the word central to the Passionate Ink chapter's definition of 'porn'] The heroine's sexual inexperience adds to this excitement. What is this thing that awaits her on the other side of distance and mystery? Not knowing may be more sexy than finding out. [...] In romanticized sexuality the pleasure lies in the distance itself. Waiting, anticipation, anxiety - these represent the high point of sexual experience. (1983: 250)
Snitow's essay was first published in 1979, so she was writing about Harlequins published before category romances became sexually explicit:
By 1981 [...] the romance market was poised for more sweeping changes. American writers of sexy historical romances had demonstrated that the market was growing and evolving. Recognizing this alteration in their traditional market, Mills and Boon/Harlequin had responded to that challenge by featuring slightly more overt sexual content, especially in the Harlequin Presents series. But the new and more open sexuality of these novels fell far short of the explicit sexual description that had proved so popular in the “bodice-rippers.” (Mussell 1999: 4)
The 'romance wars' of the early 1980s ended in 1984 when 'Harlequin bought Silhouette Books from Simon and Schuster' (Mussell 1999: 5) and after this 'Almost all romances, with the exception of the few remaining “sweet” romances and the romances published for Christian readers, featured not only sexual relations before marriage but moderate to explicit detail about the sexual act itself' (1999: 6).

But while works can arouse without being explicit, others may be explicit and arousing yet still not be written with the sole or primary aim of arousing the reader. Even the authors of the most explicit romances, the erotic romances, state that their aim is not titillation but the depiction of relationships. Clearly some readers do read romance in order to be titillated, and some authors may wish to titillate their readers, but this is certainly not the stated primary intention of any romance author that I know of, and I would assume that many readers share Sarah's preference for characterisation and relationship development even when reading erotica: 'whether that romance has its foundation in a short, sweet, pure romance or in a hot, gay male menage, I'm not interested in reading either unless the story is based on character and relationship development'. Erotica is, of course, a different genre from romance, but if erotica authors can state, as Keziah Hill does, that their work is 'for the body, mind and soul' it becomes very difficult to sustain a claim that authors of romance write primarily in order to sexually arouse their readers.

Material which damages the reader

Ann Douglas, in her essay 'Soft-Porn Culture' also describes romances as porn, but she does so at least in part on the grounds that they are damaging to the readers:
in the soft-porn fantasies of the Harlequins, woman's independence is made horrifically unattractive and unrewarding, her dependence presented as synonymous with excitement.
Admittedly incomplete surveys of readers suggest that Harlequins [...] are consumed not only by schoolgirls but by "normal," active women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. If true, this statistic hardly assures us that the Harlequins are harmless [...] but provokes instead serious concern for their women readers. (1980: 28)
Similar concerns about the effects of reading romances have been expressed by other critics of the genre:
The stereotypical, gender-based roles encouraged by this genre, along with its pathogenic communication model and naturalized violence are not only and by default a poor preparation for egalitarian, mature spousal relationships, they actively propagate a dysfunctional family model. (Kramer & Moore, 2001)
and the authors of another study, this time of romance readers, stated that 'The participants in the three focus groups held romance novels in great regard. This is unfortunate, as it appears that not only do readers establish parasocial relationships with the characters, but the novels influence their "real life" relationships' (Burnett & Beto, 2000).*

It's worth noting that there are many different types of relationships portrayed in romances: for example, an 'alpha' hero won't treat a heroine the same way as a 'beta' hero will. I've read plenty of comments from romance readers who prefer some of the more extreme alpha heroes but who make it quite clear that they can distinguish between fantasy and reality and there is therefore no risk that they would expect or tolerate the behaviour of, say, a Carpathian hero in their own real-life relationships. It's also worth pointing out that romance as a genre has not remained static. Kay Mussell observed that nowadays
Heroes and heroines meet each other on a much more equal playing field. Heroes don't always dominate and heroines are frequently right. Heroines have expertise and aren't afraid to show it. Heroes aren't the fount of all wisdom and they actually have things to learn from heroines. This is true of both contemporary and historical romances. I'm not trying to argue that all romances before the 1990s featured unequal relationships or that all romances today are based on equality. That's clearly not the case. But in general heroines today have a lot more independence and authority than their counterparts did in earlier romances.
Material lacking in artistic, literary, or political merit

I suspect that when romance is classified as pornography there's probably often some judgement being made which is related to what Anne Gracie lists as 'Myth #4', namely that romances are considered to be 'full of cardboard characters, clichés and bad writing'. As she points out, 'In every genre, there are novels that are clichéd and poorly written, and some books that are wonderfully written with unforgettable characters and prose that sings'. But, of course, people don't expect to find 'prose that sings' in a work of 'porn'.

Legally, not all pornography is 'obscene' and literary merit may be a determining factor in whether or not a work is judged to be obscene:
The Miller test is the United States Supreme Court's test for determining whether speech or expression can be labeled obscene, in which case it is not protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and can be prohibited.

The Miller test was developed in the 1973 case Miller v. California. It has three parts (from Wikipedia)
To quote from the full text of the judgement:
Obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment. [...] A work may be subject to state regulation where that work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest in sex; portrays, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law; and, taken as a whole, does not have serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. (my emphasis)
In the UK the Obscene Publications Acts was amended in 1954 so that
Convictions would not occur if the publication could be proved to be 'in the interests of science, literature, art or learning'. Expert evidence would be allowed if it were literary, artistic, scientific or meritorious, the publication must now be examined as a whole. (BBC)
Clearly not every romance is a work of literary genius. Literary geniuses are rare. But I do think that the literary merit of romance novels is often severely underestimated.

Given the criticisms levelled at Harlequins by both Snitow and Douglas, I think it's fitting to end this post with a quotation from a Harlequin Mills & Boon romance. There's one section of Sandra Marton's Naked in His Arms which I can't help but read as a subtle, metafictional defence of the genre's literary merit. Here's the heroine, Cara, having some of her assumptions challenged:
"Iron bars do not a prison make," she said coldly.
"It's stone walls. 'Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage.' " His smile thinned. "Gotta get it right, if you really want to impress the peasants."
She knew her mouth had dropped open. She couldn't help it. Alexander Knight, quoting an obscure seventeenth-century poet?
"Unpleasant, isn't it?"
His voice had gone low, his smile dangerous and very male. Cara told herself to hold her ground.
"What's unpleasant?"
"Being labeled. [...] You've written me off as something a lady like you wouldn't want anywhere near her." (2006: 86-87)
Clearly Cara's misjudged Alexander, but it seems to me that this passage could also be read as being about romance novels and romance readers (as represented by Alex) and the people who, without knowing the genre well, 'write off' romances as lacking in literary merit. I can't imagine many of them would expect to find a quotation from Richard Lovelace in a Harlequin Presents.**

  • Burnett, Ann, & Rhea Reinhardt Beto, 2000. ‘Reading Romance Novels: An Application of Parasocial Relationship Theory’, North Dakota Journal of Speech & Theatre, 13.
  • Douglas, Ann, 1980. 'Soft-Porn Culture: Punishing the Liberated Woman', The New Republic, August 30, 1980, vol. 183: 25-29.
  • Kramer, Daniela & Moore, Michael, 2001. ‘Gender Roles, Romantic Fiction and Family Therapy’, Psycoloquy 12,#24.
  • Marton, Sandra, 2006. Naked in His Arms (Richmond, Surrey: Harlequin Mills & Boon).
  • Mussell, Kay, 1999. 'Introduction' in North American Romance Writers, ed. Kay Mussell & Johanna Tuñón (Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press), pp. 1-9.
  • Snitow, Ann Barr, 1983. ‘Mass Market Romance: Pornography for Women is Different’, in Powers of Desire: The Politics of Sexuality, ed. Ann Snitow, Christine Stansell & Sharon Thompson (New York: Monthly Review Press), pp. 245-263. First published in Radical History Review, 20 (Spring/Summer 1979): 141-61.

* Neither Kramer & Moore, nor Burnett & Beto discuss whether the damaging content makes the romances 'pornographic'.

* The full text of the poem, 'To Althea from Prison', can be found here and you can read a bit more about Richard Lovelace here.

Another of Alex's comments, made just a few pages after his reference to Lovelace, might also be read as having a metafictional dimension:
"I've done a lot of things I'm not proud of in my life, Ms. Prescott," he said in a tone she knew she'd always remember, "but rape isn't one of them, not even when it's meant to accommodate a woman who'd rather be forced than admit she wants to get laid." (2006: 90)
Modern romance heroes in general don't rape heroines, and even 'forced seductions' are rare:
Between 1972 and about 1988, you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a rapist hero in the face. Starting in about the mid-80s, though, the tides started turning, and by the mid-90s, rapist heroes were mostly a thing of the past, although forced seductions still popped their heads up here and there. (Candy, at the Smart Bitches)

P.S. While I was doing research for this post I came across an article about universities which offer courses on pornography:
Undergraduates taking Cyberporn and Society at the State University of New York at Buffalo survey Internet porn sites. At New York University, assignments for Anthropology of the Unconscious include discussing X-rated Japanese comic books. And in Cinema and the Sex Act at the University of California, Berkeley, undergrads are required to view clips from Hollywood NC-17 releases like Showgirls and underground stag reels.

It's called the porn curriculum, and it's quietly taking root in the ivory tower. A small but growing number of scholars are probing the aesthetic, societal and philosophical properties of smut in academic departments ranging from literature to film, law to technology, anthropology to women's studies. Those specialists argue that graphic sexual imagery has become ubiquitous in society, so it's almost irresponsible not to teach young people how to deal with it. (Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, 2006).


  1. Firstly, thank you a million times for this marvelous post! Although your focus is on romance, I found a lot of the material very relevant to my own area - erotica.

    You wrote:
    "Ann Barr Snitow, for example, in her essay 'Mass Market Romance: Pornography for Women is Different' was of the opinion that they are pornographic because they create arousal in the reader"

    I've heard this definition before, in various guises, and it always makes me respond - so anything that can arouse you is porn, and the fact that it can arouse you overrides any other reactions you might also have? A lot of early 20th Century art has been considered arousing - is it all porn? Is Henry Moore porn? Is Matisse?

    Thanks again for the marvelous, beautifully researched and thoroughly thought-provoking post.


  2. I'm very glad you liked it, rg.

    It seems to me that (a) many people haven't thought through exactly what they mean when they use the term 'pornography'. They're maybe really working on an 'I know it when I see it' basis and (b) some people have thought it through, but their personal defintion isn't necessarily the one being used by other people who may also have thought it through.

  3. Regarding Myth #4, I have a troublesome theory that's been nagging at me for some time I wish you would discuss on the blog.

    The romance blogosphere seems to accept as a home truth that romances are empowering women's fiction unfairly maligned by the patriarchal, white-male establishment -- "cardboard characters," etc. And that the very fact romances sell like hotcakes proves they are not only a commercial force to be reckoned with but they deserve more literary respect.

    I've gone along with this for a while, and tried to broaden my horizons beyond historicals, thinking that perhaps there existed a bright world of top-notch romances out there. But even though I've tried hard to give them benefit of the doubt, I'm forced to the conclusion that most romances are indeed filled with cardboard characters, clichés and bad writing. The blogosphere decries the double-standard applied to fiction written by women for women, but I think we're guilty of applying a double standard ourselves. I think we just accept lower-quality writing in romances because they're "fun" to read.

    This isn't to say there aren't good romance writers out there. But I have to disagree with the argument that because they're popular and profitable, romances as a genre deserve more respect. Popularity does not imply quality -- just look at Hollywood or Dan Brown. Similarly, I don't believe that mentioning seventeenth century poets in your novel is a sign of literary merit. More likely it indicates a well-read author who's dropping names in the hope of lending gravitas to the writing (see again, Dan Brown).

    I'll be the first to admit that I haven't cared for many romances that got top ratings from others, so perhaps I haven't the right mindset to appreciate a lot of the genre. But I wish you'd address the double-standard idea, because I don't think knee-jerk defense of romances is any more constructive than knee-jerk bashing of them.

  4. Sorry, that last post was from me, not "admin."

  5. Is something pornographic or not.... I'm coming to the conclusion that it's a meaningless question. It does't add anything to the discussion that's of content. If you take some of the definitions of porn that you cite, each one of those definitions is far more useful information than knowing whether or not it's appropriate to slap the label "porn" on it. Arousal, acts of violence, harm to the reader, lacking merit, etc., those are all pieces of information that I can use to make literary, social, and moral judgments. So if I already know those things, what more have I learned if I then attach the word "porn" to it?

    The only role that the word "porn" seems to play is to label something negatively. It's used to dismiss the topic rather than engage it. As soon as we successfully attach the right label to it, we get to ignore it from now on as not worthy of the time of a good person. In short, I think we ask a lot more interesting questions if we ask whether or not romance harms its readers, celebrates violence, is used for sexual arousal, etc., than if we ask whether or not it's pornographic. We only like to ask this question 1) to dismiss something or 2) because so much of our legal system revolves around this meaningless term.

  6. You had me worried there, Kimber, when I first saw that there was a post from 'admin' ;-)

    I'll be the first to admit that I haven't cared for many romances that got top ratings from others, so perhaps I haven't the right mindset to appreciate a lot of the genre

    I've had this experience too. Although it's not easy for me to find library copies of some of the single-title 'classic' modern romances that get near-universal high praise on various sites, I did try to get hold of some of them and found that many people's Desert Island Keeper books aren't to my taste. Then again, Dickens isn't to my taste either. Interestingly, although he's loved and praised by some, he's also been accused of writing cardboardy caricatures of characters by others. In the entry for him in Wikipedia it says that

    Later critics, beginning with George Gissing and G. K. Chesterton, championed his mastery of prose, his endless invention of memorable characters and his powerful social sensibilities. Yet he has also received criticism from writers such as George Henry Lewes, Henry James, and Virginia Woolf, who list sentimentality, implausible occurrence and grotesque characters as faults in his oeuvre

    I hope I don't engage knee-jerk defences of the genre. I think that as a whole, the genre has been unfairly treated. Critics have often wanted to make general statements about the genre, such as whether 'romance novels' are or aren't feminist. When they do that it seems to imply that the genre is homogenous, whereas I think there's a lot of variety within the genre and different authors have different styles and opinions.

    I don't believe that mentioning seventeenth century poets in your novel is a sign of literary merit. More likely it indicates a well-read author who's dropping names in the hope of lending gravitas to the writing

    Certainly a quotation from a poet isn't a guarantee of quality, but on the other hand I don't think it should be assumed that it's only literary name-dropping. In this particular instance it made sense in terms of the characterisation for the conversation to develop as it did, and it could also be read as having a metafictional aspect.

    Popularity does not imply quality

    I agree. Popularity and quality aren't necessarily related.

    even though I've tried hard to give them benefit of the doubt, I'm forced to the conclusion that most romances are indeed filled with cardboard characters, clichés and bad writing. The blogosphere decries the double-standard applied to fiction written by women for women, but I think we're guilty of applying a double standard ourselves.

    I'm not just looking for 'good quality writing' in the sense of a beautiful prose style, though. Obviously if something has a style I find clunky, characters I think are like cardboard cut-outs, a plot with holes big enough to drive a cart through, transparent attempts to tug at my heart-strings and a political or social slant to it that I dislike intensely, I'm not going to be a happy reader. But even if an author doesn't succeed in all these areas, she might succeed in enough of them to make the book interesting and/or entertaining and/or emotionally engaging.

    I think we just accept lower-quality writing in romances because they're "fun" to read.

    It seems to me that very, very few works are going to succeed in all the areas I mentioned above, so generally as a reader one has to make compromises.

    And another problem is that, as with porn, the quality of writing is also something which is usually defined on an 'I know it when I see it' basis, and so while at the extremes there may be general agreement about whether a particular author is a genius, or whether her style is atrocious, in the middle it becomes more difficult to get agreement on what is or isn't 'good quality' writing. There's a lot of subjectivity involved, and fashions in writing style come and go.

  7. The only role that the word "porn" seems to play is to label something negatively. It's used to dismiss the topic rather than engage it.

    Yes, I think that's quite often what's going on when the term is used to dismiss romance, which is precisely why I wanted to discuss this.

    I think we ask a lot more interesting questions if we ask whether or not romance harms its readers, celebrates violence, is used for sexual arousal, etc.

    Yes, I think so too, and each of those questions deserves at very least one blog post to itself. I could only mention the issues very briefly and I don't think I'd be the best person to write about them in any depth because I'm much more inclined to analyse texts than readers.

  8. Laura, thanks for your feedback. When mentioning "knee-jerk" defence, I was thinking of the recent blogosphere reaction to Maureen O'Dowd's recent anti-romance article, and not you at all. I think I'm going to have to chalk this all up to a difference of taste and not a good writing/bad writing debate.

    On the issue of porn, I think the observation that it's a catchall, dismissive term that stifles reasoned discussion is right on the money. I suppose one definition of porn might be "anything that makes me feel uncomfortable or dirty." Again, highly subjective.

  9. I'm still thinking about your previous comments, Kimber, and working on a post about them.

    I don't want to appear to be an uncritical defender of the genre but I do try to write positive things about the novels I choose to blog about. That's partly because I enjoy most of the romances I read, but also because romances get so much criticism that I feel a little focus on the positive isn't going to tip the scales too far the other way. In addition, I can find books interesting even if they aren't to my taste in many ways. Even if a book seems vapid or ponderous or full of clichés, it can still make me wonder what it is about the book that has made it a favourite with other people. St. Elmo wasn't exactly my favourite romance ever (to put it mildly) because the characters weren't ones I could identify with, and ideologically I have a problem with a heroine who thinks it's unladylike to vote ;-). But, all the same, it was interesting.

    That's something that the casual use of labels like 'trash' or 'porn' can be intended to deny. They can be used to say that a whole genre contains nothing at all of interest. I really can't agree. I may not always like what it has to say, and there may be mixed messages sent out at times, but it's still worth studying. As I mentioned in my post, porn can be studied too. I don't think we can really understand what's 'good' without looking at what's 'bad' and why it still has appeal.

  10. Really quickly, if "trash" is used to dismiss a whole class of novels as unworthy of any type of analysis, you lose a lot of understanding and analysis of the reasons why they're popular, a discussion of precise classifications of the cardboard characters (Why is the villainess always oversexed? Why is the villain usually sexually deviant? to take two of the most obvious questions), and precise discussion of the power of some of the stereotypes.

    Which is not to say that I necessarily agree with what you say, Kimber, just that I think that even IF what you say is true, then that in and of itself is worth discussion and analysis.

    In my other life, I study novels of the Romantic era and there's one called Coelebs in Search of a Wife that was the most popular novel published that year (and the year after), bar none. Why? No one has bothered to analyze it because it's oppressively conservative and most feminist literary critics aren't interested in it. I'm interested in it precisely BECAUSE it's what women were buying, if not reading, in 1809, no matter how boring I find it myself (and boy, is it boring).

    This is obviously not the case with my interest in romances, but I guess what I'm saying is that whether or not you enjoy them, they are still a legitimate object of study, even if the study is "If these are so bad, why are they so popular?"

  11. I also just wanted to add that enjoying a novel really is a virtue to be celebrated all by itself. I had many of the thoughts that Kimber mentioned when I read the Firm by Grisham a decade or so ago. Characters were cardboard, scenario was unrealistic, main character treated his wife like a trophy... but something about it made me flip the pages like mad. And so whatever its flaws the Firm also has some set of virtues that appealed to me at the time.

    Or to put it another way, complex, realistic, powerful characters are good, not because they are complex, realistic, and powerful, but because such characters often make us enjoy what we are reading. But it is that enjoyment which makes the character development important. If a novel can be enjoyable without good characters, that simply means its found a different way to accomplish the task.

    I'm just wary of the notion that we forgive bad novels because we enjoy them. If we enjoy them, then they aren't bad. I realize that's far too simplistic, but I think many writers, artists, and academic types forget that an experience of enjoyment is precisely one of the great contributions of literature to the world. It's not an excuse.

    The question, of course, is: are romance novels like cotton candy that vanishes in the blink of an eye, or are they a savory treat that you can go back to over and over?

  12. Because I write erotica and am a Christian I tossed this question around a long time before I even set pen to paper, and I came up with the incredibly deep and profound, "It doesn't matter." Because what is lyrical and beautiful to me is trash to another person. It's like getting into an argument over what your favorite color is. Do I think it's porn? No. But I know Bethany House thinks it is. :)

    I remember reading about a hooker who had a John that only asked that he read her a Julia Childs cookbook in Julia's voice. Because that was just the cherry on his sundae. *shrugs* Different strokes, you know?

  13. Sorry, I meant that SHE read HIM Julia's cookbook in Julia's voice.