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“Prince Charming with an Erection”: The Sensational Pleasures of the Bonkbuster

journal contribution
posted on 2024-02-09, 00:44 authored by Amy Burge, Jodi McAlisterJodi McAlister, Charlotte Ireland
Abstract The bonkbuster—an explosively popular genre of women’s writing in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s—had an interesting resurgence in 2023. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak claims to be a fan of bonkbuster author Jilly Cooper, whose novel Rivals (1988) is being adapted for television. But what is a bonkbuster? And how is it different from the genre with which it is most associated: the romance novel? In this article, the first to analyze the bonkbuster in detail, we focus on two concerns common to both forms—sex and relationships—and explore how bonkbusters revel in their own “badness.” We argue that the pleasures of a bonkbuster are rooted in their sensationalism and their ironic potential.

History

Journal

Contemporary Women's Writing

Pagination

1-1

ISSN

1754-1476

eISSN

1754-1484

Language

en

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP)

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