Romance Genre Fans Speak Up!
Hit us with all your comments, we'd love to hear from you!
"Cooing, Sure, But Does Romance Need Trilling?
I admit that while I'm keeping my eye on Dwight Garner's new NYT bookblog, I haven't been paying much attention to the comments, so it took some feedback from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books to alert me to Garner's exchange with a romance fan over why the ReviewLionel Trilling of romance critics? Maybe we should hire that person, whoever he or she is." pretty much never covers the genre. "We don't have room to review so very many things we'd like to; is reviewing romances really the best use of our space?" he asks rhetorically. "Who does do a good job of reviewing them, anyway? Who is the
After fighting back the urge to run with the obvious rejoinder concerning genre specialists at the Review, I'd just like to point out that mysteries didn't have to produce their own Trilling; Edmund Wilson jumped right in and tackled the genre himself in the New Yorker. Granted, he didn't particularly like them, but he took them seriously enough to engage for what they had to say as "news about the culture." And there's no reason the Times couldn't do that; it could even take the form of a back-page essay rather than actual reviews. Maybe Garner or Donadio could take a field trip to the Romance Writers of America convention next month and send back a report! (I'd volunteer, but it's opposite International Thriller Writers weekend, which is conveniently being held here in New York.)
But if the Review really wants to push this Lionel Trilling angle, Mary Bly runs Fordham's graduate studies program in English literature when she isn't writing mass-market romances as "Eloisa James," and pretty damn good ones at that. (I've been reading her latest, Desperate Duchesses, on the subway all week, and I don't want to hear any of your guff about it, either.) So I'm just guessing, but she'd probably manage to come up with a decent 500-word review or two, if she has the time. I nominate her!"