This post has been percolating in my mind for months now, ever since this year’s RITAs were announced, and there was tremendous backlash about the lack of recognition for authors of color (for a good overview about the controversy, see Jessica Pryde’s write up for Book Riot). In response to list of winners (and the fact that many romances by authors of color were docked points for being “unrealistic”), author Courtney Milan tweeted the following:
If you’ve been following The Duke Project, then you’re probably aware that we’re trying to figure out that whole Duke obsession that Romancelandia has. Why ARE there 20,000 dukes in romance novels? But to the broader point of what is “realistic” in fiction, I figured I’d dust off my academic hat and talk about defining “realism” more specifically. What does it actually mean to say that something is realistic?
Continue reading “Reading Realism in Romance: The Question of Genre”