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Erotic Novel Set During 2012 Teachers' Strike Upsets Union

 An image from the 2012 Chicago Teachers Strike. Inset: the cover from
An image from the 2012 Chicago Teachers Strike. Inset: the cover from "The Teacher's Strike," an erotic novel loosely based on the protests.
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CHICAGO — The Chicago Teachers Union doesn't want to be tied down to a new, steamy novel. 

The Chicago Teachers Union, which is already embroiled in tense contract negotiations with CPS, set its sights this week on a new foe: the author of an erotic e-book cast during its 2012 work stoppage.

CTU spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin told the Tucson Weekly this week that the union wants all copies of "The Teacher's Strike," a new novella detailing a steamy relationship between a rebellious adult student and his former classmate-turned-teacher, to remove a logo on the book's cover because it too closely resembled the actual CTU emblem.

"The CTU objects to the use of this logo on the book because it does not want to be associated with 'a new erotic spanking novel,' as the review describes it," Chicago lawyer Robert Bloch, who represents the union, wrote in a letter to the book's author. 

Dave Matthews details what the erotic novel is about:

Bloch's letter to the book's publisher asked to recall any print copies and to scrub "Chicago Teachers Union" off the cover of any electronic versions. 

As of Thursday afternoon, the book's cover on Amazon.com no longer said "Chicago Teachers Union," only "Teachers Union."


The book's Arizona-based author, a man who uses the pseudonym "Gabby Matthews," and its publisher, Charlottesville, Va.-based Blushing Books, were told by Bloch they had until Friday to acquiesce or further "steps" would be taken. When asked to elaborate on what those steps would be, Bloch told DNAinfo Chicago "we're hopeful they will do the right thing." 

The 87-page book was released late last month and involves "a complex narrative that seamlessly blends perilous romantic intimacy with sultry political struggle," according to the publisher. The events of the novel take place during the teachers' union strike in 2012, and the book's title refers to classroom spankings.

The author — a self-described "political activist" — lives in Arizona now but told the Reader late last month he was in Chicago during the eight-day strike. The book stars Telly, the troubled 19-year-old student who's bounced between schools, and Clair, his teacher, as well as a fiery union leader inspired by real-life CTU President Karen Lewis.

"There are characters based on real people in real scenarios. I changed their names for privacy. Except the mayor, who is referred to as Mayor 1 Percent, just as Rahm Emanuel is known as," the author said in an interview with his publisher.

Blushing Books did not return messages seeking comment. 

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