This study brings race and the literary tradition of romance into dialogue.
Race and Romance: Coloring the Past explores the literary and cultural genealogy of colorism, white passing, and white presenting in the romance genre. The scope of the study ranges from Heliodorus’ Aithiopika to the short novels of Aphra Behn, to the modern romance novel Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins. This analysis engages with the troublesome racecraft of “passing” and the instability of racial identity and its formation from the premodern to the present. The study also looks at the significance of white settler colonialism to early modern romance narratives. A bridge between studies of early modern romance and scholarship on twenty-first-century romance novels, this book is well-suited for those interested in the romance genre.
Margo Hendricks is professor emerita at University of California, Santa Cruz. She is coeditor, with Patricia Parker, of Women, Race and Writing in the Early Modern Period, and she publishes romance novels under the pen name Elysabeth Grace.