In response to a hand-wringing male critic, here’s Alyssa Rosenberg on romance novels:

Romance novels are attractive not just because they are a gratifying escape but also because they sometimes feel like a respite from from the significant hostility that a lot of literature shows women.

As Maria Bustillos put it in a 2012 essay, even when they are limited by the periods in which they are written, “Romance novels are feminist documents. They’re written almost exclusively by women, for women, and are concerned with women: their relations in family, love and marriage, their place in society and the world, and their dreams for the future.”

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