Historical fiction 70s essay

For more from Kirkus, click here. Read full book review. Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan, translated by Helen Wang, illustrated by Meilo So "Readers of all ages should be prepared to laugh, cry, and sigh with satisfaction.

Historical fiction 70s essay

Well, once is never enough, is it? Renewing my faith and strengthening my understanding of the generation-long period I and others have come through, both within the romance-novel community and outside of it.

And continuing to excite my interest in how the two intellectual worlds I occupy -- of romance-writing and of what was once called "sex-positive feminism" -- are beginning to converge and enrich each other.

Which was how I framed my talk.

Historical fiction 70s essay

Which began with this PowerPoint slide: And to let me situate my self within that context as well. Because I date the beginning of this phenomenon 38 years back let's call it a long generationwith the publication of Kathleen Woodiwiss's debut novel The Flame and the Flo wer, the book that appears to have started the bodice-ripper phenomenon and perhaps even spawned the word "bodice-ripper" itself not to speak of a baby-naming craze -- I mean, was anybody named Heather or Brandon before the 70s?

Also the first romance to be published by Avon in paperback, with a beginning print run of , soon to be upped toAnd also a book that begins with a rape.

Yes, it's based on a misunderstanding, but yes, it's unquestionably a rape. Hard to read -- though, in truth, I find all the prose pretty tough going, from the immortal opening sentence of: Somewhere in the world, time no doubt whistled by on taut and widespread wings, but here in the English countryside it plodded slowly, painfully, as if it trod the rutted road that stretched across the moors on blistered feet.

No matter that it's the readerly ear that's blistered particularly by that last dangling modifier. The Flame and the Flower is an important book.

Not that I was paying attention back then. Because I'd just begun working at Modern Times Bookstore in San Francisco, the first bookstore in the city and one of the very few anywhere to feature an explicit feminist presence and an imposing bookcase solely devoted to women's issues -- fiction on one side, non-fiction on the other.


No romance novels, but I did find one of my secret guilty favorites on the shelf -- the intensely, if elegantly, sadomasochistic Story of O.

And if we'd been just a little wiser, we might have included The Flame and the Flower. If we'd been as wise, say, the romance author Susan Elizabeth Phillips, who tells of her own encounter with the bodice rippers of the 70s in an essay called "Romance and the Empowerment of Women.

Because in those early, heady, years of feminism, it was hard to separate out issues of power and pleasure, both for those who read romance and those who didn't. And so my workshop prologue continues through that history, marking some moments of particular interest to me, -- as when feminists did, in fact, picket bookstores: All of which, I hope, was in the service of showing how this complicated, conflicted, fascinating history, so full of energy, passion, and honest self-scrutiny, is the basis for a serious attention to craft.

Because this was, finally and emphatically a craft workshop -- embodying my deepest experience and cherished belief that voice and craft originate in self-understanding. Originate, but of course, don't end there. Because as for the specifics of embodying physicality and emotion, time and space, all in those little abstract black marks on white paper But that's too long for a blog post.

There is a tiny little reading list from the talk posted on my Passions and Provocations blogbut mostly, I hope to give the workshop again, and hope to see you there when I do. And I'd love to hear your thoughts, as a reader and a writer, of the fascinating decades we've come through.Since “creative non-fiction” may be unfamiliar to many students, our work will entail exploring the recent use of the term to describe creative and literary forms of non-fiction writing that encompass and combine the prose essay, memoir, fiction, poetry, and experimental writing.

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