The Myth of Superwoman: Women's Bestsellers in France and the United States

New York
Publication year

Chapter 4 is "The boundary between the romance and the bestseller: Harlequins, historical novels and family." An abstract for this chapter reads:

Romance fiction written for women, despite its long tradition, has always taken a backseat to mainstream literature. A stroll through any bookstore will show the careful segregation of romances from what is considered to be authentic literature. The bestselling historical novel in the form of the family saga, biography or period history comprises one of the largest categories of contemporary feminine bestsellers and falls in the shadowy area between the erotic historical romances and the contemporary mainstream bestsellers. For the greater part of their existence Harlequins, and this is true of the other romance publishers as well, have remained faithful to a strictly prescribed formula. In addition to the customary story of several generations, which forms the bulk of the family saga corpus, the phenomenal climb to the top by the family’s female members is added. A significant number of American bestselling family saga novelists have structured their novels around Jewish topics.

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