Women, Violence and Postmillenial Romance Fiction  book cover
1st Edition

Women, Violence and Postmillenial Romance Fiction

  • Available for pre-order on March 31, 2023. Item will ship after April 21, 2023
ISBN 9781032344065
April 21, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
192 Pages

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Book Description

This book interrogates the significance of the revival and reformulation of the romance genre in the postmillennial period. Emma Roche examines how six popular novels, published between 2005 and 2015 (Twilight, Fifty Shades of Grey, Gone Girl, Sharp Objects and The Girl on the Train), reanimate and modify recognisable tropes from the romance genre to reflect a neoliberal and postfeminist cultural climate. As such, Roche argues, these novels function as crucial spaces for interrogating and challenging those contemporary gender ideologies.

Throughout the book, Roche addresses and critiques several key attributes of neoliberal postfeminism, including: a pervasive emphasis on individualism and personal responsibility; an insistent requirement for self-monitoring, self-surveillance, and bodywork; the celebration of consumerism and its associated pleasures; the prescription of mandatory optimism and suppressing one’s ‘negative’ emotions; and the endorsement of choice as a primary marker of women’s empowerment. While much critical attention has been devoted to those attributes and their pernicious effects, Roche argues that one crucial repercussion has been largely overlooked in contemporary cultural criticism: how these ideologies function together to effectively sanction gender-based violence. Thus, Roche exploits textual analysis to demonstrate the subtle ways in which neoliberal postfeminism can augment women’s vulnerability to male violence. 

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Twilight of Postfeminism 2. Fifty Shades of Neoliberalis 3. Happily Never After 4. Hell Hath No Fury 5. Conclusion

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Emma Roche completed her doctoral work at Maynooth University, Ireland, in 2021. Her research areas include gender studies and genre studies, with a particular focus on contemporary popular fiction.