About that Time Magazine Article
“Childlike restrictions and simplicity.”
That’s the bottom line that governs romance novels, according to Paul Gray in his March 20th Time magazine article. From my point of view, Mr. Gray didn’t do his research. Relying on one essay from the Jayne Ann Krentz edited Dangerous Men & Adventurous Women and the apparent reading of one romance novel – Nora Roberts’ Carolina Moon – Mr. Gray condemns the entire genre.]]> Support our sponsors Here are some of the points Mr. Gray makes, along with my own refutations. Based on a single quote from JAK and Linda Barlow’s essay on The Hidden Codes of Romance, he determines that moral ambiguity, which enriches the writings of every author from Homer to Jane Austen, is not allowed in romance novels. First of all, most romance readers, particularly those who read historical romance, consider Jane Austen to be a romance novelist. Secondly, his definition of moral ambiguity seems to be based on a single type – infidelity.
I would instead argue that moral ambiguity fills many romances. Back in an earlier issue of Laurie’s News & Views (Now At the Back Fence), I had the chance to talk with Katherine Sutcliffe about tortured and tormented characters, because, as I wrote then, “they are often morally ambiguous.” Although our discussion occurred more than two years ago, she could well have been answering Mr. Gray today. She wrote then: “