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Showing posts by: Aniko Eva Nagy click to see Aniko Eva Nagy's profile
Wed
Feb 12 2014 5:30pm

A Love Letter to Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander

Why does reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander create such ardent lovers out of so many of us? We end up soaking up—and relishing the plunge—just about everything in the 800 plus pages. It’s not only Jamie and Claire that get us, it’s also dialects that seemed impenetrable at first peruse, leisurely descriptions of daily 18th century Scottish life down to the medicinal plant-picking and impossible sanitary conditions. But we love it, and we actually kind of dream of the Outlander world as though there were something about it that would drive us throw away a life of flushing toilets, antibiotics and tampons, if we were just given the chance.

Well, one answer is that love is seductive, itself. And Outlander is kind of a love letter to, well, love. But it is also a love letter to the novel form, to the imagination, to the senses that can be aroused simply through words in a story.
Outlander has the characters necessary to really wallop us with idea of what romantic love can be, if only in a novel. Other love stories have been written, even of love across the centuries, but it’s hard to find a story that stirs feelings of ardor and attachment to its protagonists the way Outlander does. Jamie and Claire seem to have what everyone wants and then some, with her brains and delicate toughness and his wild muscularity and refined intellect. How many languages does the man speak?

[Can't resist that Jamie Fraser...]

Thu
Apr 19 2012 10:30am

Virgins in Historical Romance: Chadwick, Seton, Gabaldon, and Donati

Madonna, Like A Virgin: She made it through, but how did Historical romance heroines?It’s all very nice when a girl and her hero unite happily ever after in a novel. It’s even nicer when readers get a peek (or more) at the consummation of that union. Having given my affection to the characters, I kind of want to watch them give it to each other, so to speak, don’t you? But when one of the couple is a virgin, do you ever think about exactly how much of that flushed complexion we should attribute to passionate activity or to innocence?

Really, how much would a virgin in a historical romance actually know about sex?

[I guess the “birds and the bees” talk wasn’t around yet...?]

Fri
Feb 24 2012 12:00pm

Stephenie Meyer, Meg Cabot, and Charlaine Harris: Who Does Vampire Fiction Best?

Insatiable by Meg CabotThere’s no escaping the fact that people have written an awful lot of novels in a short space of time featuring human-vamp couplings with Montague-Capulet-scale PR problems.

But how these inter-species soap operas play out can differ in subtle, yet marked ways; Stephenie Meyer does vampires straight up in Twilight; Meg Cabot teases the sub-genre in her affectionately satirical Insatiable series; and, Charlaine Harris strikes many moods with Sookie.

Who do you think does dead better?

My own experience with vampy novels began with the operatic seriousness of Bella and Edward’s world. Almost instantly, her uber-romantic story had its narcotic impact. The background mythologies Meyer created for vampires—the good ones and the bad ones and how they got that way—is solemn stuff. There’s no punch line in this overblown world.

[Why so serious?...]

Wed
Nov 9 2011 10:30am

Travel Through Space and Time with Anya Seton

Green Darkness by Anya SetonIf you think of books as a ticket to other places, then think of Anya Seton, who wrote twelve historical novels in her lifetime, as a time-traveling tour guide.

Anya Seton was born into a wealthy Greenwich, Connecticut, family that consisted of her travel-writer mother and artist/writer father, and she seems to have inherited a sense of writing wanderlust; her lengthy books take place in far-reaching times and places, including Viking communities in the 900s, early New England colonies, and mid-nineteenth Hudson Valley.

One of her novels, Green Darkness, starts in 1960s England and takes a hefty turn to the 1550s for the brunt of the story before returning to the era of beehive hairdos. I was wary, at first, of the reincarnation theme and the idea of past lives wreaking physical havoc on the present.

[Come fly with me...]