The Consummate Virgin
This academic book is a study of female virginity loss and its representations in popular Anglophone literatures. It explores dominant cultural narratives around what makes a “good” female virginity loss experience by examining two key forms of popular literature: autobiographical virginity loss stories and popular romance fiction. In particular, this book focuses on how female sexual desire and romantic love have become entangled in the contemporary cultural imagination, leading to the emergence of a dominant paradigm which dictates that for women, sexual desire and love are and should be intrinsically linked together: something which has greatly affected cultural scripts for virginity loss. This book examines the ways in which this paradigm has been negotiated, upheld, subverted, and resisted in depictions of virginity loss in popular literatures, unpacking the romanticisation of the idea of “the right one” and “the right time”.
New Adult Fiction
The term ‘new adult’ was coined in 2009 by St Martin’s Press, when they sought submissions for a contest for ‘fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult – a sort of ‘older YA’ or ‘new adult’.’ However, the literary category that later emerged bore less resemblance to young adult fiction and instead became a sub-genre of another major popular genre: romance. This Element uses new adult fiction as a case study to explore how genres develop in the twenty-first-century literary marketplace. It traces new adult’s evolution through three key stages in order to demonstrate the fluidity that characterises contemporary genres. It argues for greater consideration of paratextual factors in studies of genre. Using a genre worlds approach, it contends that in order to productively examine genre, we must consider industrial and social factors as well as texts.