although the term "Rose" is useful to distinguish it from the romantic novel belonging to the historical-cultural period of romanticism, it is a Western narrative literary genre, the RAE defines it as a "variety of novelistic narrative, cultivated in modern times, with very conventional characters and environments, in which the vicissitudes of two lovers are narrated, whose love triumphs in the face of adversity".1 in English it is known as romance novel, and in French as Roman sentimental or roman à l'eau de rose. Guillermo Cabrera Infante considered the term pink novel ambiguous and proposed in return romance novel to define this genre in Spanish.
The kiss, by Francesco Hayez.
2 types of pink novel
2.1 by length
2.1.1 short Romance
2.1.2 extended Romance
2.2 by setting
2.2.1 historical Romance
2.2.2 Contemporary Romance
2.2.3 fantastic Romance
2.3 degree of sensuality
3.2 novelists in Spanish
3.3 Anglo-Saxon predominance
3.4 new generation of novelists in Spanish
4 readers and popularity
5 See also
In addition to the definition of the RAE, The Romance Writers of America Association 2 defines the two main standards novels must adhere to to be considered of this genre:
1.ª the story should focus on the relationship and romantic love that arises between two human beings. The aforementioned American Association believes that, currently, it should not focus only on heterosexual romantic love, but that, as they define, the main plot concerns two people who fall in love and strive to make their relationship work. The conflict in the book focuses on the love story. The climax in the book solves the love story. Other subplots may exist, but the love story should remain the main theme.
2.ª the end of the story should be positive, leaving the reader to believe that the love between the protagonists and their relationship will last for the rest of their lives. According to the RWA, there must be an"emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending". Pink novels end in such a way that the reader feels good. They are based on the idea of innate emotional justice, the Manichean notion that good people end up being rewarded and the evil one is punished. In a romance novel, lovers who risk fighting for their love and relationship end up being rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love.
Types of pink novel
The pocket novels called category romances, are short novels that fit into a collection predetermined by the publisher. It is this who sets the guidelines to the authors, specifying the requirements that they must meet, since each particular collection usually shares similar scenarios, historical periods, levels of sensuality or type of conflict. They are usually short stories, usually of no more than 250 pages, novels with paperback and in eighth. Its selling price is low, compared to other fiction books. They are marketed for a limited time: they remain on the bookstore shelf until they are sold or replaced by the following month's titles.
For years in Spain, the main distributor was Editorial Bruguera, currently Harlequin Ibérica, which sells more than 160 million books a year throughout Latin America and has 50 million readers annually.
The unique novels are more original since they do not have to adhere to strict rules, and have a greater length, around 350-400 pages. They are included in an editorial collection, and although publishers may bring them to market for short periods of time, it is for marketing reasons.
Although the historical novel covers all times and places, from prehistory to World War II, some scenarios are very recurrent such as the Middle Ages (with Viking invasions and struggles between Saxons and Normans), the British Regency and/or Victorian era (England and Scotland of the nineteenth century), the conquest of the West or the American Civil War. Although in many occasions they seek exotic scenarios in any continent, the protagonists are almost always Western, moreover in this kind of novel, by its own setting, it must be subject to stereotypes of protagonists as Virgin and inexperienced heroines sexually and experienced heroes in many occasions with macho tints, all this justified by the time and historical moment in which the plots are located. Historical novels were the first to have a length of more than 400 pages.
The most published authors in Spain, according to the ISBN, within the historical genre are: Johanna Lindsey, Amanda Quick and Jude Deveraux.
Classic are the historical novels of Victoria Holt (pseudonym of Eleanor Burford for her gothic romances): The Secret of St. Bruno, the king of the castle, the night of the seventh moon. Other historical novel authors are: Kathleen E. Woodiwiss( Ashes to the Wind, The Wolf and the Dove, Shanna), Lisa Kleypas (Midnight Angel, only with Love, Where is my hero?), Julie Garwood (the wedding, rebellious desire), Judith McNaught (sighs of passion, a wonderful love, forever), and Shirlee Busbee (whenever I Love You, The Gypsy).
The contemporary novel focuses on the problems of the couple, and it is common for sexual freedom and female economic independence to be addressed. Although Virgin heroines and libertine nobles are anachronistic within the current scenarios, in some pocket novels they still appear. They began as very short novels, but now there are more and more long novels, which intermingle their arguments with other genres.
Many contemporary pink novels have a high degree of suspense, so they are known as romantic suspense, for example Nora Roberts, or because they do not conform too much to the traditional model they are called sentimental novels or women's literature. In fact new subgenres have been created since the 1990s such as the Chick Lit, which focus more than on a romantic relationship, on the difficulties of stable relationships for modern women, while dealing with daily problems, including flirting and sex, usually in urban places such as London, New York or Dublin.
As far as the dramatic pink novel is concerned, it is worth mentioning Danielle Steel, (she is the most published author in Spain and, in fact, in many other countries such as France). The aforementioned Nora Roberts and Jayne Ann Krentz also stand out in contemporary novels. Other contemporary romance authors are: Linda Howard (a kiss in the dark, play of Shadows, kill to tell it), Sandra Brown (witness, the exclusive, Hate In Paradise), Karen Robards (superstition, midnight whispers, Trust a stranger) and Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Tuscany for two, this heart of mine, she's so sweet, kill me if you can or had to be you).
Many pink novels address the journey through time, allowing readers to see current-minded protagonists living in other eras. The historical and contemporary ones have also branched out and mixed with other varied literary genres such as science fiction, fantasy, paranormal or psychic.
Authors such as Jayne Castle publish this kind of subgenre and some examples of highly successful novels are: Diana Gabaldon's Forastera (1991), Sherrilyn Kenyon's a dream lover (2002), J. R. Ward's dark lover (2005), Jezz Burning's al llegar la noche (2006), Stephenie Meyer's Twilight (2008).
Degree of sensuality
There are varying degrees of sensuality in this genre, from entirely white novels, without sexual elements, to satisfy the taste of conservative or religious readers, to spicy and even erotic stories, called erotic romance, characterized by having a predominant and detailed sexual content.
It is considered to come from the Romance, medieval literary genre. The pink novel has originated and developed mostly in the English language. Nevertheless the theme of love with happy fiction is classic within the history of literature.
In fact, the origin of the novel as a literary genre is found in narrations of the classical era (Greece and Rome) that follow a similar pattern to the romances present: the meeting of a young couple (in love, escape, wedding), the separation (in a risky trip because of shipwrecks and pirates), reunion of the lovers (who have been faithful despite the difficulties) and it's a happy ending. Example of a pastoral novel that tells The Adventures of a couple in love until they achieve a happy ending is Dafnis and Cloe, De Longo (s.IV).
In the early days of the modern novel there are authors such as the English Richardson and Fielding, with works whose plot or characters can be related to the genre of the later rose novel. Samuel Richardson (Great Britain, 1689-1761) tells in his novel Pamela, Or Virtue Rewarded (Pamela: Or, Virtue Rewarded, 1740) the story of a young maiden, beautiful and virtuous, who manages to reform the libertine hero and marry him, thus ascending the social ladder.