Links: Tuesday, November 5th

November 5, 2013 Links 6

A barn owl stands on a fencepost on a moonlit night with snow falling.Winter is coming – Boo, dark before five, booooooooo.

  • Surrender to Love: An Edith Layton Appreciation – “Edith talked a few times about books she had that didn’t fit the market. I don’t know how many were completed. She published one of those not quite romances under her legal name, Edith Felber. I asked if it was the canceled hardcover we’d discussed some years earlier and she said no, that one was tied up in rights limbo. I’m hopeful we haven’t read the last from Edith Layton. This is a great appreciation she would have been very touched by.” – Meoskop

    I was tottering on the brink of losing it all when I picked up a book I had bought at the local UBS and escaped for a few hours into Edith Layton’s Regency world. I fell in love with Arden Lyons, hero of The Game of Love (1988), the middle book in Layton’s Super Regency Love trilogy. How could an English major resist a hero whose book opened with an epigram from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (“a lion among ladies is a most dreadful thing”) and who furthermore borrowed from the Bard to compliment the heroine and to challenge a coward? I didn’t fully appreciate at the time Arden’s role as a former king of the underworld, a plot point used with varying results by many romance writers I have since read, nor the rarity of a hero who shows a heroine why he is convinced he’s wrong for her. I cannot count the heroes post-Arden who made a different choice. But I knew I had found the perfect retreat from my stressed-to-the-nth degree life.

  • Romance and the Problems with “By Women, For Women, About Women” – File this under “provocative, but not terribly well thought out.” It reads a lot like she thinks romance needs men to approve of it for it to be legitimate literature and we’re scaring men away with all the sisterhood business. That she cites a trans author of m/m as evidence of women adopting male personas to lay claim to greater authenticity in m/m romance is bonus WTFery. This piece gives me opinions.

    Generally, people who read romance are proud of this label, and I was certainly one of them. Female power! The sisterhood, yay! But lately I’ve been having some misgivings about the “By women, for women, about women” line. After encountering it in several reviews, it seems a though it’s used as a strawman argument whenever anyone raises questions about how romances portray modern women and feminine agency, or even whether the book is good or not: “The book may not be perfect, but at least romance is the only genre by women, for women,” etc.

  • Male Novelist Jokes – This is a good antidote to the BookRiot piece. Laughing at male privilege never gets old.

    Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    A: The terrible sex had made him feel deeply interesting, like a murder victim.

    Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    A: The beast, which had represented his feelings, was dead. “I think I’ll do a pushup,” he announced to the sea. The sea respected him for it.

    Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    A: [4000 words from the narrator about his feelings on his childhood circumcision]

    Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    A: War is hell.

  • The Top Ten Responses to Richard Dawkins’ #Honeygate – Oh, Dawkins. You’re getting trolled by Joyce Carol Oates, now. Maybe it’s time for introspection, hmm?

    If you didn’t spend your Sunday evening on Twitter, perhaps you didn’t realize that Dawkins is once again the star of social media, thanks to this Tweet:


    It’s a perfectly understandable aggravation. Who doesn’t hate the TSA? And who hasn’t Tweeted about it? Well, to be fair, most people probably haven’t Tweeted about it lately thanks to the brutal murder of a TSA agent during the horrifying rampage by a bigoted “patriot” at LAX, but still: we all get annoyed at airport security, and we all agree that it’s not actually keeping us safe.

    So why would this simple Tweet inspire the often hilarious hashtag #honeygate? Because of context. Had anyone else Tweeted that, it would have been greeted by their followers with little more than an eyeroll at the hyperbole and outdated realization. But Dawkins has become a regular laughingstock for his boneheaded and bigoted online bon mots.

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An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.

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6 Responses to “Links: Tuesday, November 5th”

  1. Aisha

    “Winter is coming” not here … just remember to leave the honey behind if you decide to fly south for the winter ;).

    On the second link, shouldn’t that more accurately read “By [some] women, for [some] women, about [some] women” where it references mainstream romance? But ag shame, poor marginalised men.

  2. Evangeline

    Can I be provocative by arguing that the FWBWAW tagline can be a method of suppressing criticism of the romance industry’s marginalization of WOC who write romance?

  3. Ridley

    @Evangeline: I’d agree with that. I think it also suppresses feminist criticism, as how could it be patriarchal if women are writing it for women?

    I’m not a huge fan of the FWBWAW tagline myself. Her arguments just weren’t my arguments.