Eva Illouz

Hard-Core Romance - "Fifty Shades of Grey," Best-Sellers, and Society

literal translation of original German Title: The New Love Order. Women, Men, and Shades of Grey
(German title: Die neue Liebesordnung)
ca. 88 pages
Eva Illouz
Foto: Eva Illouz
© Susanne Schleyer

Eva Illouz, born in 1961 in Morocco, is Professor at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Sold to

English world rights (Chicago UP), Spanish world rights (Katz), France (Seuil), Italy (Mimesis), Netherlands (De Bezige Bij), Korea (Dolbegae), Poland (PWN)


E.L. James’ BDSM trilogy Shades of Grey was an enormous success worldwide, particularly with women. But why? Because of the allegedly pornographic content? Because it was backed by a cleverly formulated marketing strategy?

Underlying Eva Illouz’s reading of the trilogy is her thesis that some books become bestsellers because they simultaneously demonstrate and solve an existing and prevalent socio-cultural problem. For Illouz, Shades of Grey is neither »mommy-porn« nor an anti-feminist creation, but instead it functions as a well-made guidebook that shows how the paradoxes of a contemporary heterosexual love affair may be practically overcome.


»When Why Love Hurts came out in Germany in 2011, this analysis of the ‘modern romantic experience’ sold tens of thousands of copies. One assumes at first that this must have been due to the subject, the title and the candy pink cover of the German edition […] But whoever reads this work will recognize the seriousness of its analysis and its refusal to pander.« Le Monde

Other publications

Warum Liebe endet/Unloving (2018)

Sold to:

English world rights (Oxford UP), Spanish world rights (Katz), France (Seuil)

Die große Regression/The Great Regression (2017)

Sold to:

English world rights (Polity), Spanish world rights (Seix Barral), Catalan rights (Grup 62), Chinese simplex rights (Horizon), Brazilian Portuguese rights (Estação Liberdade), Korea (Sallim), Portugal (PRH – Objectiva), France (Premier Parallèle; Paperback Sublicense: Gallimard Folio), Italy (Feltrinelli), Netherlands (Atlas|Contact), Czech Republic (Rybka), Bulgaria (KX Critique & Humanism), Romania (ART), Turkey (Metis)

Warum Liebe weh tut/Why Love Hurts (2011)

Sold to:

Spanish world rights (Katz), Chinese simplex rights (East China Normal UP), Chinese complex rights (Linking), Brazilian Portuguese rights (Zahar), France (Seuil), Italy (Il Mulino), Netherlands (De Bezige Bij), Sweden (Daidalos), Korea (Dolbegae), Poland (Krytyka Polityczna), Romania (Art), Croatia (Planetopija), Serbia (Psihopolis Institut), Turkey (Zen Kitabevi), Greece (Ekdoseis tou Eikostou Protou), Israel (Keter)

Gefühle in Zeiten des Kapitalismus/Cold Intimacies (2006)

Sold to:

English world rights (Polity), Spanish world rights (Katz), Brazilian Portuguese rights (Jorge Zahar), France (Seuil), Italy (Feltrinelli), Korea (Dolbegae), Poland (Oficyna Naukowa), Slovenia (Krtina), Turkey (Iletisim), Greece (Oposito), Israel (Hakkibutz Hamecheud)