iTUNES • RSS • SOUNDCLOUD • MP3
Escape into the loving embrace of a romance novel - although don't think you'll be able to escape gender politics while you're in there.
Bea and Leah Koch, proprietors of America's sole romance-only bookstore The Ripped Bodice, consider the genre; and publisher Lisa Milton scrolls through the 109-year history of the imprint that epitomises romance novels, Mills & Boon.
CONTENT NOTE: the episode contains references to consent, and non-consensual sex.
WHEN YOU'VE FINISHED READING ICE PLANET BARBARIANS, READ ON:
- It's pretty far away from the Ripped Bodice, but there is another romance bookstore - Intrigue in Canberra, Australia. Anyone know of more?
- Submit your writing to Mills & Boon HERE.
- Roxane Gay speaks about publishing's diversity problem.
- Professor Val Derbyshire writes about her love of Mills & Boon - "despite the mockery these novels incur, there’s much more going on in them than readers initially suspect."
- Thrill to classic romance covers with the Mills & Boon colouring book...
- ...or recreate them, like this couple did.
- Billionaire romances: "To harried readers, the fantasy financier is as alluring for what he does have (a private island) as for what he doesn't: namely, the money woes that plague modern women." Yeah, but AT WHAT PRICE EH?
- "The Sweet, Savage Sexual Revolution That Set the Romance Novel Free".
- Couple of documentaries: if you can get hold of it, the BBC one in which novelist Stella Duffy tries to write a Mills & Boon is super. Available on Netflix, Love Between the Covers dives into Romancelandia, the community of readers and writers.
- Allusionist listener Suzanne mentioned she writes the romance book blog Under The Covers.
- 12 romantic books that won't make you gag.
- Jeremy Bentham's corpse might make you gag, a bit. (Unless you are Benjamen Walker.)
- The transcript of this episode is at theallusionist.org/transcripts/covers-i.
MUTUAL LOVE WITH TODAY'S SPONSORS:
1. LIVING LANGUAGE from PENGUIN-RANDOM HOUSE is the self-study language course, available for more than forty different languages. You learn at your onw pace during a 1-, 3-, 6- or 12-month course, with online learning materials and e-tutorials with native speakers. Go to livinglanguage.com/Allusionist to receive a free 1-month course.
2. BLUE APRON plans tasty and nutritious meals for you, sources sustainable ingredients, then boxes them all up with a step-by-step recipe card and delivers them to your door for you to cook fresh. Get your first three Blue Apron meals free, plus free shipping, by visiting blueapron.com/allusionist.
MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- Bea and Leah Koch run the Ripped Bodice, which you can find on Main St, Culver City, Los Angeles, and online at therippedbodicela.com. They tweet @therippedbodice, and the store dog, Fitzwilliam Waffles, has his own Instagram account.
- Lisa Milton is the executive publisher of Harlequin in the UK and is responsible for Mills & Boon, which you can find at millsandboon.co.uk. She tweets @Lmrhjb.
- This episode was produced by me, with music by Martin Austwick. Thanks to Nikesh Shukla, Kimon Daltas and Kevin Smokler for their help.
- Find me at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/helenzaltzman and instagram.com/helenzaltzman.