Friday News: India’s Romance writers, cover confusion, and “alt-right” Austen
A romance novel in two weeks! – Forget the title of this article, because it distracts from the actual content, which is focused on Nikita Singh, who has written ten books (her first at age 19 while she was in pharmacy school) and is published by Penguin India. Singh is a Romance novelist and she talks about how the actual writing of her books is the final phase in a process that takes months. She also emphasizes the importance of strong female characters and female friendships, both of which are hallmarks of her work. Apparently Singh is now living in New York and working on her MFA. I notice that her most recent book, at least, is published by Harlequin.
[Nikita Singh] emphasised that women were not as gullible as romance fiction traditionally portrayed them, showing us why young, realistic voices like hers was the need of the hour for Indian literature. . .
Nikita spoke about the various ways in which romantic relationships in books often create stereotypes about women, and touched on the subject of strong female friendships – a relationship which is often ignored in favour of typical male female romantic relationships. – Times of India
When Beale announced pre-orders for The Corroding Empire, he made his mission very clear: He wanted his publishing house to do better than Tor Books and thought outperforming Scalzi with a near-identical book cover would twist the knife, adding “What would be more amusing than for The Corroding Empire to outsell and outrank The Collapsing Empire?” . . .
Beale previously announced a reprint that shortens the title to Corrosion, and changes the author’s name to Harry Seldon, parodying a character from Foundation. Right now, though, it’s still being sold with the original cover intact. Some of his followers have also responded by giving Scalzi’s book negative reviews on Amazon. We’ve reached out to Tor for a comment and will update when we hear back. – i09
Some right-wing writers use Austen as shorthand for defiance of the sexual revolution. Andrew Anglin, a white-supremacist blogger for The Daily Stormer, inserted Austen into a paean to the pop star Taylor Swift, whom he approvingly called “a secret Nazi.” As quoted in the Vice Media feminist channel Broadly, Anglin contrasted Swift with the singer Miley Cyrus and upheld her as an exemplar of Aryan virtue in a recording industry debased by multiculturalism. “It’s incredible really that she’s surrounded by these filthy, perverted Jews, and yet she remains capable of exuding 1950s purity, femininity, and innocence,” said Anglin. “She is the anti-Miley. While Miley is out having gang-bangs with colored gentlemen, she is at home with her cat reading Jane Austen.” Here Austen’s fiction serves as an escape portal from today’s Babylonian sexual excess to a vaguely delineated (1800s through 1950s) mythical era when women were wholesome and chaste. Anglin must not have read so far into Austen’s novels to encounter her sexually adventurous characters Lydia Bennet and Maria Bertram.
This view of Austen as an avatar of a superior bygone era is linked not only with fantasies of female retreat from the sexual whirl, but also with calls for white separatism. On the popular blog of the alt-right publisher Counter-Currents, the world of Austen’s novels is extolled as a prototype for the “racial dictatorship” of tomorrow. One commenter wrote, “If, after the ethnostate is created, we revert back to an Austen-like world, we males ought to endure severe sacrifices as well. … If traditional marriage à la P&P [Pride and Prejudice] is going to be imposed, again, in an ethnostate, we must behave like gentlemen.” – Chronicle of Higher Education