On At the weekend Missie and I went to a book exchange store shop I’d driven past many times, always saying we’d get there “some day”. Saturday was some day. The shop was overflowing with books – stacked in teetering piles on the floor, bursting out of bookshelves – and there were little homemade signs everywhere:
Missie arrived with some books she’d chosen just as I snapped this:
Mummy, why did you take a picture of “How To Kill Your Husband”?
Of course some days I do want to kill him. Don’t we all? But Saturday was not one of those days.
I didn’t take a picture of that. I took a picture of the sign on top of the bookshelf. See?
Were you worried for Daddy?
A shrug. She was already moving on.
What’s chick lit?
Ah, now there’s a question. . .
Typing “chick lit” into Google’s search engine elicits umpteen articles and websites. Recently I read a piece in the The Guardian entitled Should We Mourn The End of Chick-Lit? where Elizabeth Day and Tasmina Perry, concluded that the term and not the genre should be eliminated:
“If there’s a problem here it’s about the word “chick”. Somewhere along the line chick-lit was probably a fun, easy-to-digest marketing slogan but it now seems to be an all-encompassing slur to lots of warm, witty and wonderfully written books.”
My WIP seems to have been slotted into
chick lit women’s fiction commercial fiction so I’ve been reading books in this genre lately for comparison purposes: Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe, The Love Verb, and now Lovehampton. I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to read these titles in the past, but equally, I might have picked them up at a communal book exchange on holiday. These latest three were varying shades of okay. But I’ve read other books in the genre that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed – some Maeve Binchy, Shopaholic Abroad (as an audio book), Bridget Jones’s Diary and many more. Just the other day I read a review of Goodnight Tweetheart on my favorite librarian’s blog; it seems to fit the genre and sounds intriguing too.
“Publishers have published women’s fiction into a corner, and now we are all trying to punch our way out of it. We just have to write the best books we possibly can and hope that, once the pink covers . . . have faded from memory, we might finally be allowed just to be called writers.”
“Write the best books we possibly can.” Amen.