Jennifer Byrne Presents Sex and Romance

Tuesday, June 24 at 10pm on ABC 1

JENNIFER BYRNE PRESENTS is a series of individual treats for lovers of books and writing. It features interviews with leading authors and investigations into the popularity of fiction genres like crime, sex, romance and fantasy.

Jennifer and guests explore the passionate world of sex and romance, a journey through some of the most cherished and most reviled books in history.

Romance novels are very big business. Despite a fair bit of snootery about who actually reads them, surveys suggest they represent half of all paperback fiction sales in the United States - and internationally, they move off the shelves at the rate of four books per second - while the perennials like Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre are always to be found at the top of readers favourites.

Books about sex, perhaps the other side of the same coin, have delighted and outraged readers since Fanny Hills activities caused its author to be arrested for corrupting the Kings subjects.

Jennifer talks 'Sex and Romance' with Christos Tsiolkas, Anne Gracie, Luke Davies and Sophie Gee.

Christos Tsiolkas first novel was the powerful and sexually very explicit Loaded, filmed later as Head On. His third, Dead Europe, won The Age Book of the Year award for fiction He also writes plays, including one based on the famous and still banned Pasolini film Salo.

Anne Gracie is the author of around a dozen, romance novels, most set in the Regency era, including The Perfect Waltz and The Perfect Rake. She is the president of the Romance Writers of Australia. Her newest book, The Stolen Princess, was released earlier this year.

Luke Davies is a poet and novelist, author of Isabelle the Navigator and Candy, which he also adapted to the screen. His new novel, God of Speed, about Howard Hughes was released in April.

Sophie Gee is an assistant professor in the English department of Princeton University -- with a Harvard PhD in English literature. Her first novel released last year was a clever romance called The Scandal of the Season, based on the celebrated Alexander Pope poem, The Rape of the Lock.