Thursday, January 05, 2023

News and New Publications: Publishing Woe, a Forthcoming Book on the Romance Heroine's Journey, etc

I've now left Twitter but I can still be contacted via my website, via responses to posts here, and I'm also on Mastodon as .

I would say "Happy New Year!" but SmartBitchesTrashy Books is reporting that

It’s a bleak time in the professional world of media and book publishing.

The Harper Collins Union remains on strike after more than a month, and HarperCollins is refusing to negotiate. Publishing shuts down at Christmas, so it’s likely they’ll be on strike into next year. [...]

There are layoffs happening at so many publications, too, including in books coverage. BuzzFeed has laid off a portion of their workforce, including their books editor, Farrah Penn.

And Gannett, parent to USA Today, laid off a portion of their workforce, including Mary Cadden, who compiled the USA Today bestseller list

To continue the bleak midwinter theme, Jezebel is reporting that 

In October 2020, a post on indie romance author Susan Meachen’s Facebook page, allegedly written by her daughter, announced that Meachen had tragically died by suicide a month earlier. This news was followed by more posts from Meachen’s “daughter” (on Meachen’s account) in the author’s private writers group, The Ward, suggesting her mother took her own life because her peers in the online indie book community bullied her.

In light of this horrible news, authors and online friends helped fund Meachen’s funeral, created an anti-bullying anthology in her memory, and offered to help her daughter edit her mother’s final book, free of charge. On Monday—over two years later—Meachen’s account posted something new in The Ward. This time, it was Susan saying she’s actually been alive this whole time.

On a happier note than redundancies and possible fraud, romance academic Dr. Amy Burge was quoted on the BBC website recommending romance-themed Christmas movies/books. She ended with a quick summary of what romance scholarship's about:  "While many read [...] romance for comfort and entertainment, readers can also think more critically about the genre, questioning the way these books represent the dreams, desires, and values of a particular society."

This is evident in Jayashree Kamblé's Creating Identity: The Popular Romance Heroine's Journey to Selfhood and Self-Presentation forthcoming (due in the summer) new book, which is now available for pre-order. You can read an excerpt here. I've collected some of the key quotes from that excerpt, describing the contents, here.

And now on to a list of recent publications:

Long, Veronica Lee (2022). “Individuation and the Romance Novel.” PhD thesis, Pacifica Graduate Institute.

Pupipat, A., Rungkaew, T., & Meeparp, L. (2022). "Judging a Book by its Back Cover: Spoken/Informal Register as Found in Happily-Ever-After Women’s Novel Blurbs." Journal of Studies in the English Language, 17(2), 1–31.

Sheehan, Sarah E. (2022) "The “Popular Romance Canon”: An Academic Librarian’s Response." Journal of Popular Romance Studies 11. [I would like to note that there are some academic libraries with significant romance collections, as listed at the Romance Wiki (unfortunately I've been unable to log in to it and update it with details about the acquisition made by Indiana University's Lilly Library) and I've also added some to the sidebar here at Teach Me Tonight.]

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