I've never been a "chick lit" reader. I've been a book snot without really knowing it. I haven't looked down on the people who read it, but I've looked down my schnoz at the genre (or should I say subgenre) itself. Despite the fact that Bridget Jones is fab I still didn't like chick lit, and I was more than a little unwilling to embrace it. I was one of those people, and I'd like to apologize to the Jennifer Weiners (pronounced Wyner) and Jennifer Crusies of the world right now. PLEASE FORGIVE ME!
As you all know, I'm obsessed with Jennifer Weiner. It's a total girl-crush at this point. Val has me turned on to Jennifer Crusie (even though I'm still on page four, I have very high hopes for the snarkiness). I started thinking...always dangerous. There's got to be SOMETHING to this chick lit. thing. Something societal...something tied in to women's mass culture. SOMETHING THAT'S NOT EXPENDABLE! Is chick lit. just a mass of today's pot boilers....are these our "damned scribbling women?" I don't think so. Of course some are schlock....but that's the case in any genre. There's good sci-fi and there's expendable sci-fi....there are the winners of women's studies and then there's Elizabeth Wurtzel (hiss)....there's good literary fiction and there are the losers (Sup, Jonathan Franzen!). I want to analyze whatever differentiates the notable from the forgettable.
Also, I'm not totally down with the "chick lit" label. That definitely adds to the idea that it's expendable and worthless. Although, it does serve the purpose, as we all know, of signaling the subgenre....typically books about 20-30somethings dealing with career/relationship/family/identity issues.
I have QUESTIONS! Questions, questions. Things that need to be worked out and that will likely only be worked out by reading reading reading. I dropped $15 on a trade copy of In Her Shoes (Weiner) on the way to work this morning. God help me. I don't have a lot of dough lately, but I had to have it for my research....and the library didn't have it! Extra validation!
What thoughts have you? Are you a reader of it? Are you a snob about it? Is it worthwhile, worthless?? Shaaare!
I have to go teach another class in 10 minutes. DAMMIT!