Romance as BookTok feminism? Australian authors disrupting the form

Competing with BookTok's global success and the traditional misogynistic response towards romance books, Australian authors are looking to innovate.
A photo of Claire Christian, a romance author with short, bleached hair and black glasses. She's standing against a flower background.

‘Love stories honour an insecure part of us,’ says romance author Claire Christian. It’s no surprise to Christian that the contemporary popularity of romance is a facet of the political and cultural landscape. ‘Romance books are about centring joy and pleasure,’ she says, ‘but they also make our desires feel seen and heard.’ 

The popularity of romance titles is undeniable. In 2022, sales of romance titles rose 77% from the previous year, shouldering almost the entire responsibility of lifting all Australian book sales by 4%. 

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David Burton is a writer from Meanjin, Brisbane. David also works as a playwright, director and author. He is the playwright of over 30 professionally produced plays. He holds a Doctorate in the Creative Industries.