Romance novels need a canon
"Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie
A contemporary romantic comedy set to Elvis Costello and lots of luxurious and sinful sugary treats. Read the whole essay.
Alanis Morissette has wailed, whined and raged about her
crotch’s emotions on innumerable international stages with her
band Sexual Chocolate ever since her “Jagged Little Pill” album
arched into mega-platinum sales. She’s also exhibited intimate
areas of her flesh in her music videos. So it’s not surprising
that the carnal Canadian’s next creative venture will be to
costar in an off-Broadway theater production of “ href= "http://www.vaginamonologues.com/">The Vagina
Aside from an all-star benefit performance last year,
the Obie Award-winning
play written by Eve Ensler
has previously been
performed exclusively as a
one-woman show by the
author in New York, Berlin,
London and Jerusalem. Next week, reports
Tuesday’s Ottawa Citizen, the Westside Theater in Manhattan will
restage the text by dividing up the monologues equally between
three different actresses. Various casts will walk the boards for
Alanis is slated for March 21 through April 2. Winona Ryder, Rhea
Perlman, Lara Flynn Boyle, Erica Jong, Ricki Lake, Camryn
Manheim, Marlo Thomas, Marisa Tomei and Rosie Perez are also
scheduled to appear. A recent “V-Day” (Vagina Day) benefit
performance to aid organizations that fight violence against
women featured readings by Susan Sarandon, Whoopi Goldberg and
Calista Flockhart. virtual="/health/src/naked_world.htmlf" -- >
“The Vagina Monologues” was created to crack the sexual taboo
that surrounds any discussion of vaginal issues. The script is
swollen with hysterical and imaginative anecdotes and farcical
orgasmic moans, but there are also elements of tragedy. Ensler
has included, for example, excerpts from her interview with a
Bosnian rape victim.
Fans familiar with Morissette’s lyrics and rumored promiscuity
know that their horny heroine won’t be inhibited when she
delivers her daring lines. She’s also no acting novice.
Morissette personified God in the recent film “Dogma” and when
she was a mere 10-year-old sprite she starred on the children’s
cult classic program, “ href="http://www.ycdtotv.com">You Can’t Do That On
Hank Hyena is a former columnist for SF Gate, and a frequent contributor to Salon.More Hank Hyena.
"Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie
"Welcome to Temptation" by Jennifer Crusie
Another of Crusie's romantic comedies, this one in the shadow of an ostentatiously phallic water tower. Read the whole essay.
"A Gentleman Undone" by Cecilia Grant
A Regency romance with beautifully broken people and some seriously steamy sex. Read the whole essay.
"Black Silk" by Judith Ivory
A beautifully written, exquisitely slow-building Regency; the plot is centered on a box with some very curious images, as Edward Gorey might say. Read the whole essay.
"For My Lady's Heart" by Laura Kinsale
A medieval romance, the period piece functions much like a dystopia, with the courageous lady and noble knight struggling to find happiness despite the authoritarian society. Read the whole essay.
"Sweet Disorder" by Rose Lerner
A Regency that uses the limitations on women of the time to good effect; the main character is poor and needs to sell her vote ... or rather her husband's vote. But to sell it, she needs to get a husband first ... Read the whole essay.
"Frenemy of the People" by Nora Olsen
Clarissa is sitting at an awards banquet when she suddenly realizes she likes pictures of Kimye for both Kim and Kanye and she is totally bi. So she texts to all her friends, "I am totally bi!" Drama and romance ensue ... but not quite with who she expects. I got an advanced copy of this YA lesbian romance, and I’d urge folks to reserve a copy; it’s a delight. Read the whole essay.
"The Slightest Provocation" by Pam Rosenthal
A separated couple works to reconcile against a background of political intrigue; sort of "His Gal Friday" as a spy novel set in the Regency. Read the whole essay.
"Again" by Kathleen Gilles Seidel
Set among workers on a period soap opera, it manages to be contemporary and historical both at the same time. Read the whole essay.