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Fanpire: The Twilight Saga and the Women Who Love it
by Tanya Erzen
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0807006335, Hardcover)An author immerses herself in the frenzied fandom of Twilight, the young-adult vampire romance series that has captivated women of all ages
Twilight, Stephenie Meyer’s young-adult vampire romance series, has captivated women of all ages, from teenagers who swoon over the film adaptations to college-educated women who devour the novels as a guilty pleasure. All told, over 110 million copies of the books have been sold worldwide, with translations into 37 languages, and the movies are some of the highest-grossing of all time. Twilight is a bona fide cultural phenomenon that has inspired a vast and unimaginably fertile fan subculture—the “fanpire,” as the members describe it.
Just what is it about Twilight that has enchanted so many women? Tanya Erzen—herself no stranger to the allure of the series—sets out to explore the irresistible pull of Twilight by immersing herself in the vibrant and diverse world of “Twi-hards,” from Edward-addition groups and “Twi-rock” music to Cullenism, a religion based on the values of Edward’s family of vegetarian vampires. Erzen interviews hundreds of fans online and in person, attends thousand-strong conventions, and watches the film premiere of New Moon with Twilight moms in Utah. Along the way, she joins a tour bus on a pilgrimage to Twilight-inspired sites, struggles through a Bella self-defense class, and surveys the sub-universe of Twilight fan-fiction (including E. L. James’s enormously popular “Master of the Universe” story, the basis for her erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey).
Erzen also takes a deeper look at the appeal of traditional gender roles in a postfeminist era saturated with narratives of girl power. If Twilight’s fantasies of romance and power reflect the fears, insecurities, and longings of the women who love it, the fanpire itself, Erzen shows, offers a space for meaningful bonding, mutual understanding, and friendship.
Part journalistic investigation and part cultural analysis, Fanpire will appeal to obsessed fans, Twilight haters, and bemused onlookers alike.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:06:40 -0400)
"Fanpire: The Twilight Saga and the Women Who Love It is a mixture of journalism and cultural analysis that looks at one of the most successful cultural franchises in recent memory, Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. Over 110 million copies of the books have sold worldwide, with translations into 37 languages. The release of New Moon in November 2009 was the third largest box-office opening ever. Millions check websites like the Twilight Lexicon and Twilight Moms for up-to-the minute information about the books and films. MTV even has a Twilight correspondent. Erzen investigates how the series, which appeals to a great extent to conservative Christian girls and women, sheds light on the yearnings and dissatisfactions of its readers. She also explores what obsessive interest in the Twilight romance among middle-aged women says about the failure of marriage as a romantic institution, how it affects the thinking of young women faced with sexual decision-making in their own lives, and how it embodies the idea that women are already empowered and thus in no need of feminism. This book is written in an entertaining and accessible style to appeal to parents, teachers, and friends of Twilight fans who earnestly wish to understand why their daughters and peers are so obsessed. While the book is a critical assessment of Twilight's ideas of romance, relationships, sexuality, religion, and the commerce surrounding the franchise, Erzen is respectful of fans' experiences and the pleasures they take in the books and fandom. With wit and candor, Erzen explores how she herself is appalled by the series' ideology and yet irresistably drawn in by its over-the-top romantic appeal. Twi-hards, as obsessed fans call themselves, are an active community, both online and in-person. Erzen's research for Fanpire has involved not only long hours in chat rooms, but has taken her to Twilight conventions, to movie premieres put on by the fans, to Forks, the small Washington town that serves as the setting of the saga, and has involved interviews with dozens of fans. She will be able to do a lot of Internet-based promotion to all the fans she has met in her research--as well as to the relgious studies and women's studies worlds, online and in academia. *65,000 words"-- "From Barbie dolls to blockbuster films, the Twilight saga has bedazzled millions of fans and generated billions in revenue. Tanya Erzen introduces us to the global fanpire- members of Edward-addiction groups, twi-rock musicians and adherents of vampire religion- to explain how Twilight has become a massive cultural phenomenon, and why women and girls derive such pleasure from Twilight's fantasies of romance and power. In the supernatural world of Twilight's vampires and werewolves, the fears, insecurities and longings of many girls and women about sex and relationships are confronted head-on. Like the characters in the books, fans imagine that they can have it all: empowerment, respect, and true love, fantasies that are reinforced by target marketing. At the same time, the solitary reader is now part of a far-flung fanpire of like-minded devotees, where she fashions new identities, and encounters belonging and enchantment in everyday life"--
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