Erotic Fiction

Erotic Fiction

Carole Barrowman, English Professor at Alverno College and Columnist with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, joins us to talk about the hot publishing trend of erotic fiction, influenced by the best-seller status of "Fifty Shades of Grey." 

The genre of erotic fiction has always existed but the recent success of "Fifty Shades of Grey" has brought it out of the bedroom and into book clubs. Carole is here to recommend a few titles that came before "Fifty Shades of Grey" - classics, erm, if you will.

"The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty" - by A. N. Roquelaure (aka Anne Rice)

Anne Rice (the original Queen of vampire novels) wrote erotic fiction early in her career and many of her books are considered classics. This is a traditional fairy tale on a women's version of Viagra. Instead of waking up the princess with a kiss, the princes wakes her up with "an induction into a bizarre yet irresistable delights." Books in the series are very sexually explicit but are far better written than "Fifty Shades of Grey." Rice writes about the psychology of desire and exploring sexual fantasies and her characters are more real and interesting.

"Exit to Eden" - by Anne Rampling (aka Anne Rice)

Rampling's work (another pseudonym of Rice's) is on many top ten lists of the genre. The main character is a male journalist who decides to go undercover at an exclusive resort called The Club that caters to fulfilling sexual fantasies and adventures. The Supreme Mistress of The Club is a stunningly beautiful and fearless woman. The book also explores the psychology of why men and women might enjoy bondage and domination equally - whereas Carole found the S&M and the narrator's submission in "Fifty Shades of Grey" off-putting.

"Kinflicks" - by Lisa Alther

Carole's favorite of the four is funny, wild and really well-written. A young woman's journey through the culture of the 1960s as she travels north from her hometown in Tennessee to her mother's deathbed. She reflects on her various exploits (many of them sexual) from high school to college.

"Delta of Venus" - by Anais Nin

Nin's work is on many top ten lists of the genre. Most famous for her published diaries, this is a collection of the French writer's best erotic short stories. The stories are sensual and subtle in their details and might be a good place to begin if your book club wants to read erotic fiction but wants something more poetic.

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