|Barse's Romance in the Library of Congress|
Public Domain (link)
On Wednesday, February 11, I rode the Metro into Washington, DC for a special one day conference at the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress - What is Love? Romance in the Digital Age (link):
"This two-day gathering will unite authors, scholars and fans to explore the changing dynamics of the genre, its relevance in popular culture and how digital technology is shaping the future of romance fiction," said John Y. Cole, director of the Center for the Book.
"Our conference will include business and social interests and influences, romance literature scholarship and public engagement with people who love the genre," he said.
The conference kicked off with Panel 1 - What Belongs in the Romance Canon:
Pam Regis, Professor of Englis, McDonald College and President, International Assocation for the Study of Popular Romance
Len Barot/Radclyffe, President/Author, Bold Strokes books
Beverly Jenkins, Author, Avon Books
Nicole Peeler, Associatoin Professor of English, Seton Hall University
Eric Selinger, Professor of English, DePaul University
Susan Ostrov Weisser, Professor of English, Adelphi University
I borrowed a pen from the lovely lady next to me - a fan of Beverly Jenkins - so I could take notes. I uncapped the pen just in time to hear Beverlydiscuss that African American romance has been absent from romance canon. She added that it took Terry McMillan's WAITING TO EXHALE to hit the best seller for the publishing industry to realize black women actually read books (Beverly was very funny in her delivery).
The panel referred to E.D.E.N. Southworth's THE HIDDEN HAND as one of the first books written by a woman for women. From Goodreads (link),
The panel agreed that canon is not like the Highlander - there cannot only be one.
Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches tweeted her musings from the conference and storied them at this link. She took better notes via her tweets than my chicken scratch on the program.
Let's chat about canon. From Dictionary.com,
a standard; criterion
any officially recognized set of sacred books
Many "academics" refer to Loretta Chase's LORD OF SCOUNDRELS and Jennifer Crusie's BET ME as must haves in romance canon. What would be in your canon? Mine would include the first romance book I read ... Cathy Maxwell's THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT. It has a Highlander!
One randomly selected commenter wins a book choice from my convention stash. Comments are open through Saturday, February 28, 10 pm in Baltimore. I'll post the winner on Sunday, March 1.
Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City
Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas!ReplyDelete
I have to say OUTLANDER. A must.ReplyDelete
Julia Quinn Just Like Heaven :-)ReplyDelete
Ransom by Julie GarwoodReplyDelete
My choice would be Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas.ReplyDelete
The book that got me into romance - it was a romance suspense type - Sandra Brown - Exclusive.ReplyDelete
For me it was The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E Woodiwiss.ReplyDelete
It's a toss up between "Forever Amber" by Kathleen Winsor, and "Jamaica Inn" by Daphne Du Maurier.ReplyDelete
I think we could go add a classic like P&P. And, I do love Sarah MacLean's A Rogue By Any Other Name in the first The Rules of Scoundrels series.ReplyDelete
I can't remember the first romance that got me hooked!ReplyDelete
I honestly don't remember the books that got me hooked. There are so many classics out there.ReplyDelete
As much as I love Highlanders, I have to go with Kathleen Woodiwiss - The Flame and the Flower, The Wolf and the Dove etc. She really got me into romance.ReplyDelete
The first romance that got me hooked was Once in Paris by Diana Palmer.ReplyDelete
pride and prejudiceReplyDelete
I'll nominate Nora Roberts books - especially her Bride Quartet.ReplyDelete
I want to read HIDDEN HAND. This old style story is just the thing for an enjoyable read. You don't have to think too hard or take it seriously, just enjoy. That type of book is good every so often.ReplyDelete
I have several older Cathy Maxwell books, but not THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT. I will have to find it.
I would have all of Julie Garwood historical books. Her THE PRIZE was the first romance I read and it is still one of my favorites.
Thanks for an interesting post.