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.
As we get closer to May 1, the May Day General Strike, called by Occupy groups and allies around the country, is drawing more and more attention and speculation. Although an immense amount of work is going into march planning, convergences, food provision, school walkouts and ways to encourage people out of work and into the streets, I have no way (or desire) to predict the outcomes of these efforts on May 1 and the days and weeks that follow. As I’ve noted here before, this general strike will look very different from past ones in American history, as it enlists a largely un-unionized workforce, the under- and unemployed — and students burdened by unpayable debts.
To get a sense of the diverse ideas that a general strike could represent, we need only look at the types of propaganda emerging to promote May Day. The strike posters — wheat-pasted on billboards, brick walls and subway stations and shared through Twitter, Facebook and various websites — suggest a vast array of strike activities. I’ve put together a slide show of May Day posters with the help of Jesse Goldstein, a New York artist and academic and part of the Occuprint collective (which collects, prints and distributes posters for Occupy by raising funds on Kickstarter). From illustrations evoking kite-flying holidays, to images of dinosaurs riding sharks urging high school students to join a walkout, these posters give some idea of the muftifaceted nature of Occupy’s plan.
Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email email@example.com.More Natasha Lennard.
"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.