Monday, February 8, 2010

Fairy Tales and Romance Week: Fairy Tale Romance Novels

I have a rather hidden page on SurLaLune of fairy tale related romance novels at Fairy Tale Romances. It needs updating--I have more titles to add although I know I miss most of them. Romance is not my usual genre of choice, but I will peruse and research more titles on occasion. Sometimes dear readers like you also share titles.

Fairy Tale Romances was created as a landing place for all the category romance fiction that was almost impossible to learn more about or even track. (A good portion of romance fiction is published almost more like periodicals, one big print run that quickly goes out of print.) My list is broken down into categories of fairy tales, from Beauty and the Beast to Cinderella to Ugly Duckling.

I mention those three fairy tales specifically for I think they represent three of the most common if not the three most common tropes in romantic fiction, if we are very forgiving with defintions and terms. We have Beauty and the Beast: Women "taming" or "domesticating" men (or vice versa). Then there's Cinderella: Rags to riches (or riches to rags to riches) also simplified into marrying up the social and financial scale. Finally there's Ugly Duckling: Women blossoming into beautiful (and hyper sexually aware in the last few decades) adults after a period of awkwardness.

So, in other words, almost all romance novels do use fairy tale tropes to some degree. But I list only the ones that overtly use fairy tale themes, usually saluting them in their titles and descriptions. It would be nearly impossible to do more really considering the scope and breadth of the genre.

So explore the list and consider it. Also, if you are feeling like reading more lucid defense of romance fiction, I enjoyed Meg Cabot's defense of romance a few months ago on her blog which was also a response to the articles about dark YA literature. Read her here: Romance, Trauma Porn, and Brazil Dates! She includes links to more articles so I'll end here for today. (And, yes, I've linked to her blog before, but the link has changed. You can read my original post here: Article: Why children’s stories should have happy endings.)

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