‘Women are having different fantasies’: romantic fiction in the age of Trump

Women's_March_on_Washington_(32593123745) 21 January 2017 Trump Feminism

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‘Women are having different fantasies’: romantic fiction in the age of Trump

This article was published in The Guardian on International Women’s Day last week, and even though it rehashed some things from recent articles (1 2) on the quickly evolving romance genre, it is definitely worth a read.

I like this part:

Rich heroes are big: a quick google throws up all sorts of novels about Greek tycoons and Italian billionaires. “It’s the fantasy that you’ll walk into a room and some guy will literally treat you like a princess … It was a clear trope – and then we elected a maybe-billionaire to president. And the way he treats women made that trope suddenly incredibly problematic.”

However, this part…?? The bolded bit is ridiculous; we’ve ALWAYS known it was a problematic series. (But: bonkbuster!)

EL James’s hugely successful bonkbuster Fifty Shades of Grey came out only six years ago, but its questionable gender politics have begun to niggle at some; the recent film adaptation of the third book, Fifty Shades Freed, was criticised for being out of step with current sentiment.

The Week: 29th January – 4th February

Wednesday summer sunset in Canberra

One of our (still fluffy!) young magpies hanging out on Friday afternoon.

Who Gets A Happily Ever After In 2018?

jemima-khan-impersonates-melania-trump-for-halloween-2016

My review of His Sinful Touch (The Mad Morelands #5) by Candace Camp

His Sinful Touch (The Mad Morelands #5) by Candace Camp

My review of Honor-Bound Lawman by Danica Favorite

Honor-Bound Lawman (Love Inspired Historical) by Danica Favorite

Rereading Tammara Webber

Easy by Tammara Webber

Formula One (finally!) gets rid of “grid girls”

Formula One Race Podium Melbourne Australia Sonya Oksana Heaney 20th March 2016 Lewis Hamilton Nico Rosberg Sebastian Vettel F1

For Chinese New Year

Chinese-themed Book Sculpture

 

Who Gets A Happily Ever After In 2018?

jemima-khan-impersonates-melania-trump-for-halloween-2016

Who Gets A Happily Ever After In 2018?

There was an excellent – and very lengthy – article about the romance genre over at BuzzFeed yesterday. It’s very US-centric, and focuses on the state of women’s rights and immigrants’ rights in Trump’s America, but it is still an interesting read for everyone. After all, the behaviour of the White House and the rise of the so-called alt-right have effects on all of us.

The article includes interviews with a number of bestselling romance authors.

The Week: 30th October – 5th November

Halloween Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 31st October 2017

Our version of being ready for Halloween: limoncello and wine!

Saturday sunset in Canberra.

What a week in the news (don’t even get me started on Australia), but it was significant (for me) for another reason: Halloween was the 30th anniversary of my father’s father’s death, and the next day was the 40th anniversary of my mother’s father’s death (he suffered badly resisting the Nazis and the Russians in World War Two, and his health never really recovered).

Yesterday I saw that some neighbours already have their Christmas lights up, and… what??

I’ll just say this: Ukraine bloody well told and told and TOLD America about Russian lies, propaganda and online trolling from at least 2013 (you know, from around when RT News – the Kremlin’s worldwide “news” channel – was reporting that Ukrainians were making mothers watch as they crucified Russian babies).

Nobody in the West cared until it affected them because they see Eastern Europeans as nothing more than a punchline to a joke.

Now, look at the mess that ignorance has created. Trump. Brexit. Cataluña. Neo-Nazis. Bernie or Bust. Violent riots in the streets of a number of countries. And on and on and on.

On the terror attack in New York, and Trump cancelling the Green Card Lottery: does he (or anyone?) realise that the “diversity” visa is the way people like Australians are legally able to move to America? You won’t be keeping “yucky terrorists” out of the country; you’ll be keeping all of us out! Maybe he should just build his wall the whole way around, seeing as he hates all of us…

Other than that, I’m so far behind with my reading. This isn’t helped by the fact NetGalley (review book site) is chock-full of glitches, and half the books aren’t accessible for some reason. They’re aware of the problem, but weeks later still haven’t fixed it.

100 Years Ago

#OTD in 1917 Light Horsemen charge Turkish positions at Beersheba & seize critical wells enabling the British to break the Ottoman line #ww1 Australian War Memorial Canberra First World

My review of To Love a Scandalous Duke (Once Upon A Scandal #1) by Liana De la Rosa

To Love a Scandalous Duke (Once Upon A Scandal #1) by Liana De la Rosa

Sylvia Day’s Afterburn/Aftershock

jax_and_gia-1a Filming of the Afterburn-Aftershock movie begins Friday 7th July Sylvia Day.

Hotel for Book Fans

restaurant-tlm

Watching: The Age of Innocence

Winona Ryder as May Welland in The Age of Innocence (1993)

Trump and Romance Book Sales

A great article from a few days ago:

Welcome to the Romance Resistance

Sales of romance books are soaring, and the article points out something we knew already: women are the biggest producers and consumers of books.

‘We have not seen a significant decrease in sales. In fact we have seen more readers turning to romance than ever before, especially those who are new to the genre. Interest in politically minded heroes and heroines is on the rise and we expect to see an entire wave of books featuring characters who are fighting back and resisting in their communities. Ultimately, we feel that in this time when so many people feel downtrodden and personally attacked by this president, romance, the literature of hope and happiness, is more important than ever — and our sales back that up.’

It was feared that a Trump presidency was going to kill non-political book sales (I didn’t know this, but then I’m not American).

‘People often speak poorly about romance for being an ‘escapist’ genre,” she added. “But what is so terrible about escaping from a world that has suddenly turned upside down, where a new horror happens every day? Taking time to recharge your batteries is essential if you mean to go on fighting against injustices, and romance can provide that.’

 

Sarah MacLean: How Trump killed off my romantic lead

The Day of the Duchess (Scandal & Scoundrel #3) by Sarah MacLean US American Cover

What an article! This piece appeared in the Washington Post a few days ago and I enjoyed it even more because I’ve just read the book in question:

How Trump killed off my romantic lead

That hero? The one I’d lovingly crafted in that mold of masculinity that romance readers have loved for centuries? Sure, I had plans for him to see the promise of gender equality, but at that moment, I wanted him gone. This dude wasn’t just aggressively masculine. He was toxic. Indeed, I suspected he would have voted for Donald Trump. And I wanted nothing to do with him.

Suddenly, there was no promise that he would change. That hero — the one whom so many others in the genre have written for centuries, the one who grows into his awareness that everything is better with equality of partnership — he wasn’t enough. I wanted a hero who had that awareness from the start.

The Week: 24th – 30th July

Monday sunshine in Canberra

Today is the twentieth anniversary of the Thredbo landslide. I remember the aftermath of the disaster very clearly, and all the media attention surrounding it. Because people tend to pass through Canberra to get to the Snowy Mountains, it had quite an impact around here.

My review of A Ring for the Pregnant Debutante by Laura Martin

A Repost

This Book!

Cover Love

This Book!

In the past few months I’ve ordered the following things from The Book Depository: books by Lisa Kleypas, books by Joanna Shupe, and guidebooks for Iceland, Croatia, Italy and Spain.

So, Book Depository folks, WHY did this come up alongside historical romances and travel guides in my recommendations last week?!

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that it did. But it is very odd.

I might even have to get myself a copy of it.

A Child's First Book of Trump by Michael Ian Black

What do you do when you spot a wild Trump in the election season? New York Times bestselling author and comedian Michael Ian Black has some sage advice for children (and all the rest of us who are scratching our heads in disbelief) in this perfectly timely parody picture book intended for adults that would be hysterical if it wasn’t so true. The beasty is called an American Trump. Its skin is bright orange, its figure is plump. Its fur so complex you might get enveloped. Its hands though are, sadly, underdeveloped. The Trump is a curious creature, very often spotted in the wild, but confounding to our youngest citizens. A business mogul, reality TV host, and now…political candidate? Kids (and let’s be honest many adults) might have difficulty discerning just what this thing that’s been dominating news coverage the US election cycle is. Could he actually be real? Are those…words coming out of his mouth? Why are his hands so tiny? And perhaps most importantly, what on earth do you do when you encounter an American Trump? With his signature wit and a classic picture book style, comedian Michael Ian Black introduces those unfamiliar with the Americus Trumpus to his distinguishing features and his mystifying campaign for world domination…sorry…President of the United States.

The Week: 29th May – 4th June

Driving past Australian Parliament on Saturday afternoon (taken from the back seat of the car). Canberra’s winter has a lot of sunshine!

First day of winter in Canberra.

A colourful last day of autumn on Wednesday.

Above is our neighbour’s ancient, blind, deaf cat this week. For some reason she has just now (at nearly nineteen years of age – in her nineties as a human) decided to move into our house. The problem is, her blindness means she often misses our back door and instead sits there and stares at the brick wall! We had to put a mat out for her because she sits there for hours…

In five days I went from frightening her at every turn, to patting her for the first time, to – on Friday – having her walk into the house, climb on top of me, and settle in for the evening. I felt a bit triumphant to gain the trust of such an unlikely cat.

We began winter with some gorgeous weather, but I’m terrified it’s already June!

So much – not all of it good, some of it hilarious – happened this week.

UPDATE: Yet another terror attack in Britain. 😦 😦

Yesterday Russia deployed 60 000 MORE troops to Crimea. Something else for everyone to ignore. People talk about how bad it was people ignored Hitler, but when Hitler started wars, the world started reacting. Putin has been invading countries for a decade now.

My cousin’s house burnt down – I kid you not. It made the news, and because it’s in the country and he was in Sydney it makes it all so much more difficult to deal with.

The ridiculous thing is that he was renting it out, and the renters basically blew it up by putting embers in a bin near the gas and electricity. However, there aren’t many laws protecting landlords from their tenants’ idiotic behaviour, so this is going to be costly for the innocent party in this mess.

Olivia Newton-John announced she has cancer again. My mother did costume work for one of her tours a few years ago, and apparently she is one of the most genuine, normal, nice celebrities behind the scenes.

covfefe!

Winter Reads

Thought for the end of the week.

My review of When to Engage an Earl (Spinster House #3) by Sally MacKenzie

My review of The Cornish Escape by Lily Graham

My review of What We Find (Sullivan’s Crossing #1) by Robyn Carr

Nice Hat!