The Greenwich Citizen
Anyone who aspires to be a novelist has got to wonder at the success of E. L. James, the author of the "Fifty Shades" trilogy that has sat at the top of the New York Times bestseller list for nearly two months and sold more than 30 million books.
This middle-aged, middle class mother of two teenagers who lives in an attached house in West London has written a love story you wouldn't want your teenager to read about a college student's attraction to a 27-year-old billionaire (Christian Grey) with decidedly BDSM proclivities.
Local demand for the book is evident in the multiple, ongoing requests for the many copies of the book that Greenwich Library has. (Surely the fact that the library has invested in so many copies is testament to how far we've come in intellectual freedom.)
When a rash of articles began appearing in the New York press recently about a new wave of single girls from Manhattan frequenting high-end Greenwich bars in search of rising hedge funders with McMansions, Ferraris, private planes and helicopters, I began to wonder if they weren't all looking for a Christian Grey.
I've found myself in certain settings asking hip young women what they think of "Fifty Shades," and their response is immediate: "We are so grateful to E.L. James for writing these books! They are the fantasy we need!"
Some said they know married couples that read the books aloud to each other to reenergize their sex lives. A recent e-mail at work had the subject line, "Fifty Shades Baby Boom." The content was a fertility counseling firm, reporting, "Many couples are turning to these steamy novels in efforts to have children and take the stress and struggle out of it."
And now those couples can add a musical component to the written work with E.L. James's new CD . . . "Fifty Shades of Grey - The Classical Album," . . . made up of selections (including Bach, Chopin, and Debussy) she listened to while writing her books -- to best drown out the noise of her teen aged sons.
Interviewed at the recent Manhattan release of her CD, James threw off one of her rare and offhand remarks on the state of her success. "It's nice," she said, "that people who don't normally listen to classical music are listening to classical music -- and that people who normally don't read are reading."...
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