Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Happy Birthday,Dear Chick Lit! Happy B-day to you..

There's an article in USA Today about Chick Lit being officially ten years old as a genre(click the title above to read the whole piece),marking the arrival of Bridget Jones' Diary in bookstores as the starting point. Jennifer Weiner is qouted(at Jennifer's blog,she mentions that she was misqouted about being a single mom but blames that on doing the interview over the cell phone. I've done a cell phone interview myself and yes,that happens)as well as Rian Montgomery of Chick Lit Books(who is nestled amongst my regular links).

Bridget Jones is a good place to start from-I fully remember when the book came out and all the feminists were squawking about how such a novel would drag womankind back to the Stone Age. What bloody nonsense! In some ways,I prefer the British version of chick lit,it seems less uptight and gives in to the funny right away. One of my current favorites in the field is Sophie Kinsella,best known for the Shopoholics series. Even her non Becky Bloomwood books,like Can You Keep A Secret and Undomestic Goddess,are fun reads in a wacky English sitcom kind of way.

I also adore Anna Maxted,whose books in this country suffer from the hideous "pink cover" syndrome that hasn't yet been cured. Maxted's novels deal with rather weighty topics like date rape,anorexia and the death of a parent yet are not Lifetime channel tear jerker fodder. She approaches her characters and subjects with humor,candor and empathy. Anna's new novel,A Tale of Two Sisters,is due out this summer sans the cartoony glibness decorating her earlier works so I hope more folks take a chance and give her a try.

American Chick Lit has it's share of controversary with what I call Working Girl Expose-The Devil Wears Prada and The Nanny Diaries. I didn't read Devil(the movie looks fabulous)but did grab a copy of Nanny Diaries on my trip to England awhile back(it has a very stylish Mary Poppins type of artwork on the cover). It wasn't a bad book but it was clearly a one shot deal,writing wise. I had customers who thought the authors were terrible"betraying" the former employers. Those former employers should've thanked their lucky stars that ND was written as a novel since the behavior mentioned was very believable.

Chick Lit has taken many twists and turns with subgenres such as Mommy Lit and Paranormal Romance sprouting up and fending back the social critics who feel the need
to put someone down in order to hoist themselves up on their own snooty pedestals. I've been in favor of adopting the term Female Friendly(a lost cause,I know) to include all of us gals and now I have one for the fellas:Male Minded. Alliteration is a great marketing tool and one that I will shamelessly exploit for the good of all.

So,to sum up-what's next? Who knows but one thing is certain;as long as there are ladies who love to read for fun,there'll be books out there for them. Perhaps one day,a chick lit title might rise above it's humble beginnings and recieve critical acclaim-hey,if Silence Of The Lambs could sweep the Oscars and Susan Lucci could finally get a damn Daytime Emmy Award after nearly 20 years,anything is possible!

No comments: