Wall Street Journal's Decided Comments on Romance and YALit


Rautu says READ.
I'm certain some of you have seen the Wall Street Journal article about romance books making women leave their husbands and YaLit making children into murderers. As a romance and fantasy writer, I had a good laughed about it. Many people, however, did not feel the same. Many readers became enraged, and rightfully so, but as an author who writes in both genres and who grew up reading both genres, I will share my feelings about the article.

1) As a honour roll student, I will tell you I was bored as fuck (that's a technical term) in school. I was outcast because of my grades and by my lack of affluence being in a wealthy private school. High school was the hardest part of my life, and were it not for my principal and the book he put in my hand that changed my life, I wouldn't be where I am today. He gave me the first book of the Belgariad, which broadened my prospects considerably. It made me want to write fantasy books and reach out to others like me who could not connect with reality, or what we deem as reality. Many students today feel the same: teenage life is horrible for most teens and books that discuss the issues they may be having help them understand themselves, just as the Belgariad helped me understand my place in the world.

2) As a published author, I'll tell you that it really does not matter to me what one critic thinks. It matters to me what readers think. They are my audience, and I cannot tell you how many letters I receive in a week of people wanting to discuss the stories I write in relation to issues they might be having. Once, one of my readers read a story about King Alasdair having a talk with Rautu about marriage while he was debating whether he should propose to Carrigh. The letter I received was a thank you note conveying how the person's apprehensions in her relationship were suddenly clearer because of the nature of the conversation she read. As an author who has proof of how books positively effect lives, this article's assertions are erroneous.

3) The article was obviously written by a conservative who doesn't understand the concept of positive escapism. The suggested reading list written in the article attests this. There isn't a single book about adversity or love in the list, and therefore all of those titles promise to be uninteresting.  

4) Romance is the most popular genre of books in the world. There is a reason for this. The world stops for love, and everyone always wants to read stories about how two people come together against all odds. Who wouldn't want to read these stories? I write them and I still want to read them. The article claims that reading romances encourage wives to leave their husbands. Well, and I'll be honest, if the husband has no interest in the wife, a romance novel is only going to show her a life she wants and encourage her to go for it. Everyone needs to be loved and if we cannot find that in everyday relationships, then we must find attachment where we can.

What are your feelings on this article? It doesn't bother me because I know it's all silliness, but if you feel upset by it, you may share.

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