Gimmicks aside, the essays are mostly informative and intelligent.


A collection of essays from a variety of perspectives on the best-selling erotic romance series.

The Fifty Shades trilogy, just like the Twilight series that inspired it, has created demand for books with similar themes. This book, edited by veteran erotica editor Perkins, is clearly an attempt to capitalize on this new, robust market. Several of the contributors make this shift in the publishing industry a theme of their essays: Louise Fury writes that E.L. James has “helped pave the way” for existing writers of erotica and erotic romance and that “new voices [will] emerge and follow in her formidable, trailblazing footsteps.” Though there is general agreement that these books have created a space for new audiences and authors, there is disagreement on the representation of BDSM in the books. Jennifer Armintrout persuasively argues that the violent sex, though problematic, is less disturbing than Christian Grey’s controlling and stalking behavior. Yet Susan Wright points out that critics of BDSM forget that “everyone in America is free to sky dive, rock climb and play football, which cause far more harm than BDSM.” Perhaps the most novel perspectives come from Cecilia Tan's, Mala Bhattacharjee's and Anne Jamison’s essays on the Twilight fan-fiction origins of Fifty Shades and Tish Beaty’s account of discovering and editing the manuscript. Some of the essays appear to be hastily written personal reflections with a sentence or two about Fifty Shades thrown in; the “Fifty Writers” gimmick may have prompted the inclusion of some filler. However, the more thoughtful essays will provide food for thought for readers eager to learn more about the series and the lifestyle it depicts. Other contributors include M.J. Rose, Judith Regan and Rakesh Satyal.

Gimmicks aside, the essays are mostly informative and intelligent.

Pub Date: Nov. 20, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-937856-42-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Smart Pop/BenBella

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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