Now that E.L. James' Fifty Shades of sadomasochistic sweet, sweet smut is making its author over a million dollars a week, Plume, an imprint of publishing giant Penguin, will re-release Anne Rice's graphic "Sleeping Beauty" trilogy from the 1980s, because now that dirty books are a summer reading trend (for the first time ever, obviously), publishers everywhere are looking to make a little extra scratch on the zeitgeist.
The New York Times' Media Decoder blog anticipates the Thursday re-release (with glossy covers and everything!) of Rice's dirty books from the 80s, which she initially published under the fancy pen name A.N. Roquelaure. When the "Sleeping Beauty" books first hit shelves, people were just a little too prudy to talk about them in polite company. "It was viewed as an outrageous thing to do," explains Rice. "The gays were the only people speaking about sexual liberation."
In recent months, Plume has recorded a sharp uptick in sales of Rice's Roquelaure books, owing to the success of the Fifty Shades trilogy. As a way to score some easy money, the imprint will release 350,000 newly-designed copies of The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty's Release, and Beauty's Punishment. Rice, whose novelistic legacy seems pretty secure at this point, really just likes to see that women are having wider access to the dirty, dirty, slam-bang sex fiction known amongst scholars as erotica. She says,
Women have just as much right to pornography as men do, and I'm talking about literary porn, erotica. If a woman wants to read about being overwhelmed by a pirate, that's her right.
Pirate, werewolf, vampire, snuffleupagus,whatever — here in the free world, women can read any kind of sexy fiction that some creative and enterprising scribbler can dream up.