Picture this: It’s 2012. Chicago teachers are on strike. Faculty at roughly 675 schools are protesting. The country’s third-largest public school system, and the hundreds of thousands of kids it serves, is paralyzed.
Sounds like the perfect setting for an erotic novella, right?
Writer Gabby Matthews thought so when he penned The Teacher’s Strike, an 87-page sexpot of a tale about a student striking up a relationship with his teacher.
The Amazon description reads: “School administrators pegged Telly Jorgenson as a ‘troubled’ teenager—in and out of six local high schools in two years. The walls of his current school didn’t seem any likelier to hold him. Not until Clair, his former classmate and new young teacher, walked back into his life.”
Using the backdrop of the teachers’ strike, the novella is meant to provide educational lessons “and some classroom spankings.”
While there are no Amazon customer reviews yet, the Chicago Teachers Union was not singing the e-book’s praises. CTU spokesperson Stephanie Gadlin requested that the publisher remove a logo on the book cover which she thought too closely resembled the union’s insignia. Robert Bloch, a Chicago lawyer who represents the union, also wanted all print copies to be recalled. The current cover of the novella on Amazon appears to still have the words “Chicago public schools” in the background.
Matthews, the 31-year-old Arizona based author, has taken the criticism in stride.
“Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke, you know?” he said in an email exchange with The Daily Beast. “I suspect a political reason may be some sort of purist rubbish, those who can’t or won’t find humor in the whole thing. I mean, are they so pious and puritanical that they can’t find humor in the idea of a ‘spanking novel’ romance between a student and teacher set in the backdrop of a political strike? Come on, that’s funny!”
Matthews said the idea came naturally to him while living in Chicago during the calamitous strikes.
“I was living in Chicago summer 2012 during the build-up of the 2012 strike,” he said. “I got the idea for the book’s plot during that time but sat on the project until this past winter, when I finally had some time to sit down and write the text. Once I thought of the double entendre (the ‘strike’ both in sexual and political terms), I just had to do it, even if it took me a while to get around to it.”
Blushing Books, a Virginia-based erotic publishing company released the novella in July. Other titles on their website include No Sugar Added, Maid for a Lord, Spawn of Babylon, and Spontaneous Combustion: Billionaire Cruise, Book One.
According to our email exchange, Matthews actually reached out to Gadlin to help spread awareness of his work.
“Dear Stephanie and CTU,
It’s with immense pleasure to notify you (if you haven’t heard already) about my breakthrough novel titled The Teacher’s Strike, a historical fiction based on your admirable work in the 2012 event,” Matthews wrote on August 5. Gadlin then requested a copy of the book and was not amused by its contents.
“We wish Mr. Schivone [the author’s alleged real name] or Mr. Matthews well with his book, but we do not seek to engage in his public relations strategy to drive book sales and public interest,” Gadlin told The Daily Beast. “We are concerned about the appropriation of the Chicago Teachers Union’s logo in the book’s cover art, and we’ve asked that it be removed or undergo modifications.”
Whatever ends up happening to “The Teacher’s Strike,” Matthews already has plans for another novel…..about ISIS. “Before you ask, it’s not an erotica,” he assured The Daily Beast.