"Really?" I sat up straighter in my desk chair. "Who was it?"
"I don't remember. Somebody who's sold a lot of romance books."
Thanks, dear. That really narrows it down for me.
So I logged on to the internet and learned that the interviewee must have been Mary Bly, an English-lit professor who writes regency romance as Eloisa James. Apparently she made a double-play this morning, appearing not just in the NPR interview but on the op-ed page of today's New York Times.
My friend Booksquare will be sorry to learn that Ms. Bly ripped bodices not once but twice -- and that was just in her opening paragraph. But I liked this part, near the end:
So let's quit this out-of-date mockery of the genre. Focusing solely on the sensual content of romances and deriding them as bodice-rippers leads to the assumption that America is full of women gobbling up romance novels because they're sexually frustrated and want to be overpowered by a strong man.
Right. But I'd just like to suggest that if we want to train people to stop saying, "bodice-ripper", maybe we should stop saying it, ourselves. If I say to you, "Don't think of a red kite. Do not picture a red kite in your mind. Think about anything else, just not a red kite," what do you immediately think of?