Edgy New Novel on 2012 Chicago Teachers Strike Causes Stir

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Expressing either anger or excitement, everybody is talking about The Teacher’s Strike, an innovative new novel by Gabby Matthews about the 2012 Chicago teachers work stoppage. The first historical fiction of its kind, this zesty erotic novel is perking up ears among Chicago Teachers Union leaders and members, government officials, journalists and readers.

Controversial Book Cover of The Teacher's Strike

Despite the bizarre controversy, I'm really pleased with the book's diversity of opinion. I wrote it as satire to raise life-and-death issues like education cuts and economic austerity that are roiling our society.

In the three weeks since the release of The Teacher's Strike, a plucky new book by debut novelist Gabby Matthews about the massive 8-day Chicago teachers work strike in 2012, everyone from government officials to journalists to Union members and leaders have all chimed in on the title.

One thing that seems to perk up everyone's ears is that this serious historical fiction, based on extensive, firsthand investigative research covering one of the most important political events of our time, also just happens to be an erotic novel.

To top it off, the book's title carries a double entendre (double meaning) due to its specific sub-genre known as the "spanking novel" among the sub-cultural readership of the "BDSM" (Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism) literary industry. At one point in the story, the book title’s double meaning becomes clear when the teacher spanks (or “strikes”) the student’s bare behind (and vice versa) in a romantic act of affection during intercourse.

Not surprising, some are shocked, even pushing back against the book's publication, while others are excitedly intrigued by the book's gripping, satirical premise. In all the hullabaloo, one thing's for sure: This new book about the massive September 2012 work strike led by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) that shut down the public school system in the nation's third largest city, has everybody talking.

"Look, I've taken a largely unknown and taboo sub-genre and merged it with historical fiction as an act of political satire," said the author, Gabby Matthews. "This is my way of reaching new audiences and creating new ways of thinking about life-and-death matters like education cuts and economic austerity that aren't being duly addressed."

In so doing, Gabby Matthews has set a new direction in political erotica.

Across news and social media, from local newspapers to Twitter, Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) leaders are "pissed" about the book's publication while their Union members are curiously "excited" to read it.

On Twitter, Chicago Teachers Union member Gwen Tarbox tweeted: "As a union member, I'm curious!" But once her Union leaders requested a copy of the book, the Union "was not amused with its contents," to say the least, according to The Daily Beast.

The Tucson Weekly quoted a Union representative as saying the Union "does not want to be associated with 'a new erotic spanking novel.'" On Instagram, Chicago's current 35th Ward City Alderman, Carlos Rosa, the first openly gay candidate to run for the position, posted to his followers a photo of the book's controversial cover, an excerpt from the sales blurb, and some feisty hashtags apparently coined by the Alderman himself, including: #FiftyShadesOfWTF.

"Despite the bizarre controversy, I'm really pleased with the book's diversity of opinion," Matthews said. "I wrote it as satire to raise life-and-death issues like education cuts and economic austerity that are roiling our society."

The book controversy comes on the heels of the worst relations between Union and Chicago city officials since the 2012 strike. On Aug. 7 CTU President Karen Lewis described Chicago officials' new proposal that teachers drastically increase their pension payments to be "strike worthy."

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ABOUT THE BOOK, TEACHER’S STRIKE

Think 50 Shades of Grey meets Oscar-nominated Selma and you'll get this story of passion and politics, which sets a new direction in political erotica. The Teacher’s Strike (Blushing Books, July 2015), authored by a debut novelist who writes under the penname Gabby Matthews, tells the story of an illicit romantic affair between a male student of legal age and his early-twentysomething female teacher, set in the backdrop of the 2012 Chicago teachers’ work stoppage that brought the school district to a standstill three years ago.

The book, the first historical fiction to be published of the 2012 Chicago teachers strike led by the Chicago Teachers Union, takes a sympathetic perspective on the Union’s struggle over educational policy inside Chicago schools. The main and supporting characters take part in the high-profile labor battles against city policies, personified in the book’s unseen antagonist, “mayor of the 1 percent,” the unflattering title used by activists to describe Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

At one point in the story, the book title’s double meaning becomes clear when the teacher spanks (or “strikes”) the student’s bare behind (and vice versa) in a romantic act of affection during intercourse.

With verve and vigor displayed in The Teacher's Strike, Gabby Matthews answers whether erotica can actually be good fiction. The answer is a reverberating "yes."

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MORE ABOUT THE BOOK, THE TEACHER’S STRIKE

The book's publisher, Blushing Books, is a leading eBookseller of "spanking fiction". More information about The Teacher’s Strike is available at http://www.TheTeachersStrike.com and this information site is active on
social media:

Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/TheTeachersStrike

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/2012StrikeBook

Find The Teacher's Strike on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Teachers-Strike-Gabby-Matthewsebook/dp/B012U0PBN8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438150409&sr=8-1&keywords=gabby+matthews+the+teacher%27s+strike&pebp=1438150410165&perid=0XKXB5VY0Z60MS67B6H4

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