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.
NEW YORK (AP) — Authorities said a suspect has implicated himself in the death of a New York man who was pushed onto the tracks and photographed just before a train struck him — an image that set off an ethical debate after it appeared on the front page of the New York Post.
The suspect was taken into custody on Tuesday after investigators recovered security video that showed a man fitting the description of the suspect working with street vendors near Rockefeller Center, said New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne on Tuesday.
“The individual we talked to made statements implicating himself in the incident,” Browne said.
No charges were immediately announced.
Witnesses told investigators they saw the suspect talking to himself Monday afternoon before he approached Ki-Suck Han at the Times Square station, got into an altercation with him and pushed him into the train’s path.
Han, 58, of Queens, died shortly after being struck. Police said he tried to climb a few feet to safety but got trapped between the train and the platform’s edge.
The Post published a photo on its front page Tuesday of Han with his head turned toward the train, his arms reaching up but unable to climb off the tracks in time. It was shot by freelance photographer R. Umar Abbasi, who was waiting to catch a train as the situation unfolded.
Abbasi said in an audio clip on the Post’s website that he used the flash on his camera to try to warn the train driver that someone was on the tracks. He said he wasn’t strong enough to lift Han.
“I wanted to help the man, but I couldn’t figure out how to help,” Abbasi said. “It all happened so fast.”
Ethical and emotional questions arose Tuesday over the published photograph of the helpless man standing before the oncoming train accompanied by the headline that read in part: “This man is about to die.”
The moral issue among professional photojournalists in such situations is “to document or to assist,” said Kenny Irby, an expert in the ethics of visual journalism at the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based nonprofit journalism school.
Other media outlets chimed in on the controversy, many questioning why the photograph had been taken and published.
“I’m sorry. Somebody’s on the tracks. That’s not going to help,” said Al Roker on NBC’s “Today” show as the photo was displayed.
Larry King reached out to followers on Twitter to ask: “Did the (at)nypost go too far?” CNN’s Soledad O’Brien tweeted: “I think it’s terribly disturbing — imagine if that were your father or brother.”
The Post declined to share the photo with The Associated Press for distribution.
Subway pushes are feared but fairly unusual. Among the more high-profile cases was the January 1999 death of Kendra Webdale, who was shoved to her death by a former mental patient.
After that, the Legislature passed Kendra’s Law, which lets mental health authorities supervise patients who live outside institutions to make sure they are taking their medications and aren’t a threat to safety.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday that he believed that “in this case, it appeared to be a psychiatric problem.”
The mayor said Han, “if I understand it, tried to break up a fight or something and paid for it with his life.”
Associated Press writers Tom Hays and Tom McElroy contributed to this story.
"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.