I have recently been reading blogs, discussions and articles on what should and should not be called Chick Lit, whether the term has its uses, and if it is being mis-used by editors, publishers and readers.
Tina Jordan quotes Linda Holmes in Shelf Life:
“If you’re going to try to report on the fact that a couple of women who write books have tried to start a discussions of whether the mega-response to Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom is symptomatic of a too-narrow view of interesting fiction, it might be a good idea to stay away from the formless and dismissive term ‘chick lit’ in discussing them.”
To me, genres are something publishers use to classify books, and chick-lit, with the covers full of cartoons, of shoes, bags and women, is their idea of marketing humorous books by and on women. End of story.
Here’s an interesting take on the issue by a chick-lit fan who says:
“I don’t exclusively read chick-lit. I don’t exclusively read YA. I don’t exclusively read anything. You clearly see where I stand on the matter. I am a fan of chick-lit, don’t mind it being labeled as such, and certainly don’t think having “a female name is like an affliction.”
To me, I’ve read a few chick-lits when I needed a light read, and can vouch for the fact that almost all were witty and well-written. But yes, I would be upset if a fantasy, horror or literary work is labeled chick-lit merely because it happens to be a book related to women’s interests and has been written by a woman. Not because chick-lit is lowly, but because the label is wrong.
What do you think?