Flipping the Script: Romancing Zane's Urban Erotica

Publication year

Francis acknowledges that Zane is "not an obvious choice for an essay on black popular romance" (167) but, she argues,

It is easy to misread Zane's works as being simply about sexual liberation. Many people read them this way, not least because Zane herself has constructed a powerful narrative about her literary project. [...] Zane views frank and open discussion of sex as liberatory, particularly for black women. She isn't simply writing erotica for our pleasure; she's writing it to free us. [...] Given Zane's popularity and the way her work provides such an obvious erotic charge for her readers, I don't dispute that Zane's exploration of black female sexuality deserves serious critical consideration. Yet we shouldn't ignore that Zane writes about love, as well as about sex, and it is the love story at the heart of Addicted that I am interested in here. Rather than a story primarily about transgressive black sexuality, Addicted is actually a story about happily ever after. (169)