Perhaps 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.