The new cover with more generic logo
The Chicago Teachers Union has struck back at The Teacher's Strike
As the Reader reported
in late July, the erotic novella, out last month on Amazon Kindle
, is set during the eight-day CTU strike in September 2012. It describes itself as "Selma
meets 50 Shades of Grey
and details a tryst between a young high school teacher/union activist and one of her students. That teacher is depicted on the book's cover wearing a low-cut red shirt bearing the CTU logo.
Robert Bloch, a Chicago lawyer who represents CTU, e-mailed the author and requested he remove the logo from digital copies of the book "because it does not want to be associated with 'a new erotic spanking novel,' as the review describes it."
The author, a 31-year-old Arizona man who uses the pen name Gabby Matthews, agreed to comply with the request, but told the Reader
he didn't care for the union's tone.
"They had to go and say they didn't want to associate with 'a new erotic spanking novel'? That's unnecessary because it implies prudish, conservative sentiments on gender and sexuality. It also seems to disparage the legitimate genre of erotica," Matthews said in an email. "So I wrote a 'spanking novel'—who cares? What's really important here, are the issues. Economic strangulation in Chicago and elsewhere expressed through cuts to education and other public resources—these are life-and-death matters. If erotic fiction can help raise these issues in new, creative ways, that's what I care about."
The 87-page book mostly steers away from real-life references. One minor character is loosely modeled after CTU president Karen Lewis, but there's no appearance from Rahm Emanuel (who is merely referenced as the "mayor of the one percent") or anyone else ripped from the headlines of the 2012 strike. It's instead focused on the illicit affair between young teacher Clair and a troubled 19-year-old high school student. Their passion for each other increases after attending a rally in Union Park and eventually they have sex in a fictional Chicago school emptied out because of the strike. It's described in illustrative language in the book: "Her pelvic bones ground into mine; her vagina-hair scratching against my own groin-patch was like two kittens nuzzling their heads together,” one passage reads.
The Teacher’s Strike
was published by Blushing Books, a company that's released an array of bodice-ripping fare, including Spanking World
, an erotic spin on the movie Jurassic World
. Matthews is already planning on following up his first novel with a political thriller about ISIS, one that focuses on U.S. and European domestic security policies that are increasing the threat of terror, he said.