One of the best pieces ever on This American Life featured Sarah Vowell at a romance writers' convention.
It's always blown me away the amount of derision and sneering romance novels receive, compared to, say, scifi or fantasy, which is often just as bad. But whenever I try to make this point, someone inevitably calls my bluff and asks me to recommend good romance novels. And I have to sheepishly concede that I don't read romance novels.
(Romances, from what I read, are very conservative in terms of values, despite all the sex. They are, as the article points out, for the most part, all about white women getting married.)
I believe the best romance novel ever is Madame Bovary by Balzac. lul
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