Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Nonfiction Book on 50 Shades

So, I can finally announce my exciting news!

I am editing a collection of essays on 50 Shades of Grey, titled 50 Writers on 50 Shades for Ben Bella Books.  I'll announce the line up of authors in a few weeks, but I am looking for different takes on the trilogy, both positive and negative. But you already know where I stand on this debate.

And please feel free to make suggestions for contributors.  I am especially looking for a female 21 year old Seattle college student's take on Ana, so please pass that on.

Read my Publisher's Marketplace write up below for a more complete description:

May 23, 2012


Lori Perkins's 50 WRITERS ON 50 SHADES OF GREY, an anthology by a panel of insiders - from the editor who first "discovered" Fifty Shades of Grey, to BDSM experts, erotica authors, feminists, romance writers, and a whole lot more - extending the conversation about the pop culture phenomenon that has captured the imaginations of so many, from the sexual politics and its fanfiction origins to what sets it apart from other erotic fiction and romance (and what doesn't), to Leah Wilson at BenBella Books, for publication in December 2012, by Louise Fury at L. Perkins Agency(World).

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Banning Books: The American Way?

I was appalled to read that libraries throughout the country are pulling 50 Shades of Grey from their shelves. If you haven't read this article, please do,

There are hardly words for me to express how wrong this is, on so many levels.  I am enraged that more women aren't protesting.  Where is the feminist outcry over this obviously sexist assault on what we choose to read?  This is a prime opportunity for the romance community and feminists to show their power.  Romance and feminism are not antithesis.  Quite the opposite.

An aside (before I reeve up for my tirade). Dirty books have always been a huge part of feminism for me (see previous blogpost about my definition of feminism being about choice). When I was a high school freshman, I got ahold of the list of books banned by the Catholic Church (I am not Catholic, so I looked at this as a suggestion list, not blasphemy) and read every one of them, starting with Portnoy's Complaint.  I was probably the only teenager at the Bronx High school of Science who has read Ulysses, Lady Chatterley's Lover and Justine (I'd also read Lolita, Fanny Hill, Candy, Fear of Flying and Delta of Venus).  I got them all out of the New York Public Library.  After about the third book (I think it was Fanny Hill), the librarians knew me because I had asked them where some of these books were (in the old days of the Dewey decimal system library card catalog).  They lead me to the "secret" cupboard of dirty books in a separate room and told me to go in and get whatever I wanted (I think the Joy of Sex, Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex and Xavier Hollander's books were there too, but that was nonfiction and I was only interested in fiction).

Smut made me into the voracious reader I am.  I cut my literary teeth on smut.  Some of that smut was later decried literature, but all of it was deemed reprehensible by someone.

After reading Delta of Venus and Little Birds by Anais Nin, I wrote in my journal at 17 that some day I wanted to grow up and start an erotic magazine for women.  Three decades later, I started an erotic ebook company.  So you see, sharing the diversity of female sexuality has always been a dream of mine.

And the reason I wanted to start an erotic magazine (that was the quick and cheap means of communication in the 70's) was because almost all the smut I read was by men, and even then I knew that women needed to express their sexuality freely and frequently.  Our voices (or moans) needed to be heard. Loudly.

Male authors have been expressing their sexuality in print for years.  It's our turn.

EL James is the tip of the iceberg of this revolution.  

We MUST fight for our right to female-expressed erotic content in libraries.  This is about much more than censorship.  It's about personhood and the right to see women express their sexually as freely as men, and the right to choose.

The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy needs to be available in every library in America to inspire every young girl  (and boy) who seeks it out.  S/he should be able to find a reflection of female sexuality without judgment.

If I had Bill Gates' money, I'd buy a set of her books for every library in America.