Monday, December 31, 2007

Chick Lit?

A few years ago in Portland I went to a lecture at McMenamin's Kennedy School by Whitney Otto, who wrote How to Make an American Quilt. (There was also another female author lecturing but I don't remember who she was). I had seen Whitney the year before at Wordstock and she was funny so Lizzy and I went to see her again. Well, the discussion turned to books by female authors that are most often read by women. The question - Is Chick Lit a derisive term? They wondered why there wasn't a similar term for books most often read by men? If there were a term, what would it be? Dear blog readers, will you be offended if I tell you that the best suggestion was for calling it dick lit?  Or is it that most books are either read by both genders or women only.  Does the category read mostly by men only already have a name - comic books?

Anyway, I just read Austenland, by Shannon Hale. It's about a girl obsessed with Mr Darcy to the detriment of her own love life. Her grandmother sends her to a "camp"in England where you get to spend 3 weeks acting and dressing like the Regency period. The book was cute and if you too are obsessed with Mr Darcy, Colin Firth, Pride and Prejudice, or Pride & Prejudice, it's worth reading. But here's something interesting I noticed in the front of the book, in the Library of Congress info where they categorize the book, did you know there is a category for Chick Lit?



Tamara said...

you realize you've totally opened a can of worms here, don't you? do you realize how crass you're allowing me and the rest of the world could be here?

hmmm... how could we market dick lit? i wonder if dick lits are anything like chicklets. and do i dare? (oh yes, i do)
what would dicklets taste and look like?

i think i need to go talk to my bishop now...

Heather Bigley said...

The irony is of course that novels were first and foremost the domain of women readers---with both women and men authors contributing. If you take a look at the sermons of the late 18th century, they love to warn women of the dangers of reading fiction. (More intelligent scholars than I have done lots of research on this).

And I prefer the term clit lit to chick lit.

Marie said...

Oh, wow -- I love where this discussion is going. Maybe an alternative to chick lit and clit lit could be tit lit? Or maybe that's what guys hide under their mattresses?

Oh dear.

So you're actually telling me that the Library of Congress uses the term "Chick Lit" as a category? Or they just have a category that suggests the same idea with a different name? Either way, I'm kinda miffy about that.

I hope you're loving your new place -- post pics soon.

Hey, It's Ansley said...

I'm so glad I have friends that think this is an interesting discussion. I like all your ideas for new category names and also the realization that they may make my blog show up on some rather interesting google searches. I'll have to see if my profile visit count goes up with the provocative subject matter.

Heather, so good to see you on here.

And yes, Marie, the LOC does indeed have a category called Chick Lit. And pictures to come as soon as I have internet in my apartment and am not relegated to the kid's table of internet options, the apartment complex business office.