Diversity in Romance

the-price-of-saltNext month, the Southeastern Mass. Reader’s Advisory Roundtable (SE-RART) will be discussing the romance genre with a focus on reading books written by authors who are underrepresented in library collections, in order to explore diversity in Romance.

The meeting is scheduled for the afternoon Monday, Feb 13, 1-3 p.m., at the Brockton Public Library, 304 Main St., Brockton (The snow date is Thursday morning, Feb 16, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.)

To get the most out of the meeting, please read the benchmark title – The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith – and your individually chosen titles from the romance genre and be ready to talk about them in terms of reader’s advisory appeal factors, as laid out by RA-guru Joyce Saricks:

  • Pacing (e.g. breakneck, unhurried, densely written)
  • Characterization (e.g. quirky, well developed, ensemble cast)
  • Plot/Storyline (e.g. action-oriented, sensual, domestic, sexually explicit)
  • Tone/Mood (e.g. gritty, heartwarming, political)
  • Style/Language (e.g. sophisticated, homespun, frank)
  • Frame/Setting (e.g. urban, rural, historical detail, contemporary)

Additional readings for discussion at our February SE-RART meeting will be from The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 2nd ed., by Joyce Saricks and the two articles listed below. Details on the readings will be emailed to registered participants.

Naughton, Julie. In Loving Color. Publishers Weekly. Nov. 10, 2014. pp. 28–36

Saricks, Joyce. The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 2nd ed. pp. 143–53

Stano, Eve. All’s Fair in Love. Library Journal. Oct. 15, 2016. pp. 24–9

Don’t forget to register on the MLS Web site!

Although mainstream romance authors are increasingly including diverse primary or secondary characters in their books, we are trying to familiarize ourselves with authors who in some way reflect diversity themselves, so that when we put our list of second titles together the resulting list of authors will be multicultural and diverse in race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, etc.

If you’re looking for ideas for your second title, we have put together a list of possibilities:

Romance Authors of Color

Rochelle Alers
Niobia Bryant
Adrianne Byrd
Cherry Cheva
Sylvia Day
Sonali Dev
Gwynne Forster
Donna Hill
Brenda Jackson
Beverly Jenkins
Courtney Milan
Kayla Perrin
Sherry Thomas

LGBTQ Romance Authors

Melissa Brayden
Erin Dutton
Penelope Friday
Vanessa North
Kristen Zimmer (Mass. author)

Or check out these links:

Women of Color in Romance

Hey Ladies: Lesbian Romance

If you want to post your second title before the meeting, you can, and if you haven’t posted your Science Fiction second title from December, please do!


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