For Such a Time, the first work by author Kate Breslin was an obscure romance novel..until it was nominated for two RITA awards by the Romance Writers of America. The ensuing publicity storm has exposed serious rifts in the industry group, and has started a major discussion about problematic themes in romance fiction. This is because the story, a retelling of the Story of Esther, set durng the Holocaust, is part of a subgere of romances set in concentration camps. In brief, a young woman is saved by a concentration camp commandant, and uses her relationship with him to try to save some people, while drawing faith from the New Testament. The controversy centers of over the sympathetic portrayal of the Nazi commandant, and the conversion of the heroine to Christianity. [more inside]
Academic publisher Elsevier backs down. Reed Elsevier withdraws its support for the controversial Research Works Act. Not without some whining, of course. Reps. Issa and Maloney have apparently said they won't be moving the bill forward.