Critical Linking: August 22, 2012

“In fact probably these books owe their success to the way the writer weaves the description of physical pleasure with the emotions they elicit in a woman who is discovering her body and her feelings simultaneously. It is this mix that makes these books stand apart from porn and makes them quite erotic. The sex is narrated in the voice of a protagonist who is experiencing it with intense emotional reactions, as many women do. To top it off, the author has no qualms introducing a number of interesting and different sexual possibilities. No wonder it has sold ten million copies in two months!”

If someone hasn’t already begun work on The 50 Shades Sutra, perhaps this writer will oblige?


“We want to start a national mentoring program,” says [VIDA co-founder Erin] Belieu, “to encourage women to grant themselves permission to more fully enter into the critical conversation surrounding contemporary literature.”

And by “critical conversation surrounding contemporary literature,” we don’t think Belieu means “chatting with my girls about 50 Shades of Grey.”


“It’s funny how with each book the suffering and the exaltation—the highs and the lows—are oddly distributed. There has to be both. It’s no good if you’re down all the time and it’s no good if you’re smugly typing away the whole time.”

In honor of his latest novel’s release, a Martin Amis interview.