If you follow romance, as I assume you do, you'll have seen the uproar this week over Robert Gottlieb's New York Times Book Review cover story on romance novels. I have nothing new to add (for now at least) to what articulate and indignant fans have already said online but here is round-up of some of the conversation in one handy place.
- The original NYT piece
- Smart Bitches, Trashy Books's excellent overview
- Ron Hogan's much-cited Medium analysis of *everything it gets wrong*
- Olivia Waite's takedown in Seattle Review of Books
- Alisha Rai's lively thread on Twitter
Don't forget to read the comment threads!!
I do have to echo what many readers are saying: is it really too much to expect the New York Times to assign a knowledgeable and respectful critic to their first coverage of this genre? Yes, apparently it is. Gottlieb's anxiety about pop culture, erotica, and feminism oozes out everywhere, leading him into cringeworthy moments like when he just has to mention that Eloisa James is the daughter of a well-respected (male) poet (thus she might have inherited some talent?) and a professor of literature herself (thus she has some connection to the canon?). And he really has to describe her as "the funny and sexy (at least on the page, and for all I know in real life) Eloisa James"....
Umm. Yeah. Wow.
I'm really astonished that the editors let this article pass.