Publishing Research Quarterly

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 89–90 | Cite as

Eva Illouz: Hard-Core Romance: Fifty Shades of Grey, Best-Sellers, and Society

The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 2014, 104 pp., Paperback, $20.00, ISBN: 978-0-226-15369-8
  • Casey Brienza
Book Review

Fifty Shades of Grey began its proverbial textual life as fanfiction, a sexualized homage to Twilight, the vampire romance series written for the young adult fiction market by Stephanie Meyer. In 2011, the British author Erika Leonard, under the pen name E. L. James, released a revamped (excuse the pun) version of the story, which features a young everywoman protagonist named Ana and her BDSM-flavored relationship with the uber-rich and enigmatic Christian, as a self-published print-on-demand and e-book. Since Random House acquired publishing rights in 2012 for this novel and two sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, the series has sold over 100 million copies, been translated into over 50 languages, and topped bestseller lists all over the world.

“Trying to understand what makes a book into a best-seller starts with a certain amount of bad faith,” writes Eva Illouz in Hard-Core Romance: Fifty Shades of Grey, Best-Sellers, and Society, an extended essay published as an...


Book Publishing Bestseller List Fictional Relationship Emotional Capitalism Extended Essay 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Culture and Creative IndustriesCity University LondonLondonUK

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