Beth O’Leary

A modern Cinderella story: Romantic Comedy, by Curtis Sittenfeld, reviewed

Romance, and romantic comedy, make up a third of all novels sold – by far the highest-earning genre of fiction. They outdo crime novels 2:1. They are very rarely reviewed, and are generally excluded from year-end round ups, awards, gongs and TV book shows. They do not have their own festivals or celebrations; romance writers are extremely thin on the ground at Hay. They suffer from a triple bigotry (in an industry that likes to think itself terribly progressive): they are read by women; they are read by older women and they are read by working-class women. So it’s a landmark that the critically garlanded Curtis Sittenfeld is having a