E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey rocketed to the top of the best-sellers list in 2012. The title’s enormous success immediately provoked a cultural conversation: Where had this phenomenon come from? Who was reading it? Why this particular book at this time?

As time went by, the series also attracted substantial criticism for its representation of women, sexuality, abuse, relationships, and what fantasies can mean in the real world.

Readers continue to devour the series, and on Valentine’s Day weekend the movie adaptation broke box office records both for R-rated films and for the success of a female director.

Join us for a lively discussion on all of the issues surrounding this series and its wider pop culture impact. Topics will range from the series origin in fan fiction, romance and erotica, publishing, and the representation of relationships. We will take an in depth look at media aimed at women: debating what women want, what women create, and how being in charge of the process changes what everyone reads and sees.

Panelists include:

Nomi S. Burstein, Organization for Transformative Works
Michelle Cove, Mediagirls
Cassie Luna, The Network/La Red
Cecilia Tan, author
Jennifer Webb, librarian
Panel moderated by Robin Brenner, librarian.

This event was co-sponsored by the Brookline Library.