You Tell Me: Why IS Romance Reviled?

Image - iStockphoto: Milos Stankovic
Image – iStockphoto: Milos Stankovic

So What Is It? Chopped Liver?

Romance novels continue to be the most disdained of all genres. Often not just disdained or dismissed, but reviled with an unbridled hatred that oozes and splutters.
Why is that? Serious question.

Always among the more articulate author-contributors toWriter UnboxedBarbara O’Neal took a brave step recently in writing The Perplexing Problem Of Romance there.

While I absolutely understand why you might not want to read a genre—I’m never going to read space operas or monster books—I do not understand the continued revilement.

A six-time winner of the Romance Writers of America’s (RWA) RITA Award for “outstanding published romance novels and novellas,” O’Neal is read in more than 10 countries. Her The Lost Recipe for Happiness from Bantam has had at least eight printings. She’s accomplished, prolific, fully professional, and worried.

Genre novels such as mysteries or science fiction are often dismissed, but they are not often reviled the way romance novels are. Why is it so much more ridiculous or ignorant to read and write romance novels than something like Game of Thrones or the latest gory offering from Patricia Cornwell?

The question is a good one.

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By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

Writing on the Ether: You Tell Me: Why IS Romance Reviled?

Originally published by Thought Catalog at



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