A new 50 Shades of Grey style novel is in town, but it is geared toward a slightly different audience. The novel, Thursdays in the Park, has all the steaminess of 50 Shades but involves a set of grandparents. That’s right, folks, we have now graduated from “mommy porn” to “granny porn.” In fact, publishers have placed the novel in its own literary category: gran-lit.
Thursdays in the Park has topped the e-book charts for four weeks, beating out 50 Shades. Hilary Boyd’s novel tells the story of two grandparents who meet at the park where they bring their grandkids to play. Grandmother Jeanie — disillusioned with her distant husband — meets and ultimately falls in love with elderly Ray. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but, according to The Stir, the 60-something pair “end up having some steamy sex by the swingsets.”
While the book was published last year, it went unnoticed until a re-release last August when an e-book was simultaneously released. No additional press was needed when the novel began circulating by word of mouth. Now, translation rights for Thursdays in the Park have been sold to France, Sweden, Finland, and Germany. The actor Charles Dance is in negotiations to write, direct, and star in a film version of the tale.
In the book, grandmother Jeanie feels that Ray is the man of her dreams and struggles with her husband, who had withdrawn from the marital bed. She is tempted by a new partner. The category “gran-lit” is a new one, and Boyd herself noted that there were no novels on the market with protagonists in the elderly age-set.
Boyd, a 62-year-old grandmother, noted, “Old people falling in love and having passionate relationships is not a story that’s had much exposure before, but I’m in no doubt the market’s out there.”
Many publisher believe the book has addressed an audience wanting “gran-lit” that is similar in style to the “mommy porn” introduced to the world by EL James in 50 Shades.
Terence Blacker, writer for The Independent, notes that the phenomena of above-middle-age sexual adventures had no place in society before. He writes:
“It is as if an unspoken rule of acceptable behavior requires that, for any decent person beyond a certain age, feelings of lust, and hopes for change or adventure, should be allowed to fade to grey respectability.”
Blacker goes on the add that, with the publication and popularity of Thursdays in the Park, the adventures of an older set may change the way elderly are viewed in society.
“After that, who knows? Once it is accepted that the relatively old can fall in love and misbehave, perhaps there will also be a place for them as TV presenters and newscasters, maybe even in the higher reaches of government.”
“Thanks to Hilary Boyd,” notes Blacker, “Late-flowering love is finally daring to speak its name.”