Kay: Love Between the Covers

Love between the coversPerhaps you’ve heard of Love Between the Covers.  It’s an 84-minute documentary film by Emmy award-winning director Laurie Kahn, released in 2015, about the romance industry. She looks at the history, popularity, and even the business of romance readers and writers—from how romance fiction outsells all other genres of writing, to why it’s dismissed as frivolous. It’s a funny and inspiring look into a billion-dollar industry, fueled by writers who push the discussion on gender, race, sexuality, and diversity.

Romance fiction has received serious attention from academics in the last few years—from conferences at Princeton to the University of San Diego—because, as Jayne Ann Krenz says in the film, popular fiction upholds the culture’s core values. And many readers credit reading romance when they talk about overcoming the stresses of illness, divorce, loss of a loved one—even abuse and violence. That’s serious therapy.

Love Between the Covers has been reviewed from Library Journal to Hollywood Reporter, and now the film has been highlighted at RH Reality Check, a daily publication that provides news, commentary, and analysis on sexual and reproductive health and justice issues. Written by Eleanor J. Bader, a teacher, freelance writer, and activist from Brooklyn, NY, the article discusses “How Romance Novels ‘Imagine a World in Which Women Can Win.’” It’s inspiring to think that an organization that fights for sexual and reproductive health can see the value of romance fiction—a world in which, as Jenny Crusie says in the film, “women can have sex without dying.” Check out the article here.

9 thoughts on “Kay: Love Between the Covers

  1. Interesting article. My local library doesn’t have the movie. I’ll have to see if the college where I work can get it for me.

    • I meant to check Netflix. There was a local screening here in California, but I was out of town at the time, so I missed it. The folks from my chapter who saw it liked it. And it has a great score on Independent Movie Database. 😀

  2. That sounds fascinating. Any idea why they did it as a film, and not a book or long think-piece? That in itself is fascinating, and it’ll be a valuable historical item, too. There’s something special about seeing artists thinking and talking on film . . . .

    Romance does seem to be a safe haven for a wide variety of women writers. And writing “weird stuff” isn’t the barrier that it once was — we can have romantic vampires and werewolves along with our romantic doctors and millionaires.

    • Well, Laurie Kahn is a filmmaker. Why she got interested in the romance community, I don’t know. But when I was digging around for this post, I found a bio for her that said she’s interested in popular culture, so that’s probably, as we say, the inciting event.

      You’re right—now’s a good time to be a romance writer. It’s such an inclusive community, embracing so many story categories. We have lots of options!

  3. Sounds like an interesting film. One worthy of taking up some of precious reading and writing time. Since it’s related, I don’t have to feel bad, right? 😊

    -JM

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