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picture of a pulp fiction novel cover
BrushstrokesCategoriesLiterature and SexualityVisual Corner

Brushstrokes:The Lurid Covers of 20th-Century Pulp Fiction

Twentieth century pulp fiction democratised literature and contained within it a rich, dynamic world of crime, intrigue, sensuality and melodrama all rolled into one. It is interesting to observe the gender and sexual politics that are portrayed in the covers of these pulp novels. Considering how sexuality was a running (and selling) theme in the stories, and female sexuality was employed as a means to titillate and attract readers, the covers often reflected this. An exhibition at the Wolfsonian-Florida International University revisits the ‘lurid’ imagery of these book covers in an exhibition highlighting “28 examples of this vivid popular art”.

Cover Image: Amazon

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