Romance vs. Sexy Literary Fiction: What’s the Distinction?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

Today’s lead story examines the publishing history of Stephen Vizinczey’s In Praise of Older Women, a novel that is considered by many to be a classic of modern European literature — but has had a checkered publishing history in the United States.

Surely, there have been no shortage of literary censorship cases in the United States — or in Europe, for that matter — but overall, continental Europeans seem to like their sex couched in literary fiction, while United States and UK has the market cornered in chest heaving, thigh thumping romance novels. But what, truly, is the distinction? Or is it simply a matter that continental European romance novels don’t translate that well?

Let us know what you think in the comments?

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.