Eight Links for the Weekend

Comix Kid Lit News
1. I'm ready for my fifteen minutes of fame now.

2. The culture wars: comic style.

3. Laura and Jenna Bush held a discussion of the children's book they collaborated on, Read All About It!

4. I remember being thoroughly engrossed with and creeped out by Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca when I read it in high school, then having the same reaction to Hitchcock's film version when I saw it a few years later, so the story behind how du Maurier wrote the book is an interesting one.

5. New York whittles down the Observer's Brooklyn Literary 100 to 1. (Well, also 50, 25, 10 and 5.)

6. We Are Ready is a campaign by international authors to have China release imprisoned authors, and will present the Chinese government with a petition on May 1.

7. Tell me what you want, what you really really want: Chick Lit!

8. The headline: Young writers embrace the thought process. What a relief that old authors aren't the only ones who think.
4 Responses to "Eight Links for the Weekend"

Enjoyed the Daphne du Maurier article.

Also, I see in the excerpt from David Hajdu’s The Ten-Cent Plague that artist Janice Valleau Winkleman lives only a few miles from me. Cool!

by Cal Godot on

What's wrong with Chick lit?

Seriously.

I once asked a female colleague if X book was "chick lit." She became offended. "Is every book written by a woman 'chick lit?'" I answered no (of course), and explained that I have no clear understanding of what "chick lit" is supposed to be - and certainly had no idea it was a disparaging categorization. I mean, I don't like Candace Bushnell but her books are (1) readable, (2) decently written and (3) popular - these are the things I think most writers are shooting for, and assumed it meant that "chick lit" was a viable, perhaps even venerable, genre.

Setting aside the argument that "chick" is a derogatory term for a woman (I accept that it is, but also note it is far less charged than say "bitch lit") - and also setting aside that "lit" is a diminutive which suggests a certain non-seriousness to the literature in question (but again, a commonly-used abbreviation among us lit types) - What is actually wrong with calling something "chick lit?"

My comments are in response to the quote below:
1. No one has time to sit around reading whatever they want if they have a full time job. Even if they are a writer, they must grind out the daily dose.
2. Literature is alive and thrives via hip-hop!!!
From #8: Leading a contemplative literary life isn't dead even in these hectic times. Just ask Nathaniel Rich, left, Keith Gessen and Ed Park."When people think about the golden age of the novel in the 19th century, literacy rates were absurdly low. There wasn't electricity to read by: People weren't just sitting around reading all day then either."
Gressen's war against mediocrity and for seriousness in writing and thought, he insists, does not require living in the past."These are people who were raised on print culture, everything they know they know from print culture, who now say, 'Those values are dead. You and I,' they say, 'believe in them, but those people out there do not.' And I'm telling you, they do! There are a lot of people who believe in this stuff, and they don't think it's a joke. They don't think the only way literature can survive is as this whimsical plaything of the upper class, which is frankly what McSweeney's is doing."

by billectric on

Jamelah, when I first read your April 24th post, I was at work, where our PC's block out a lot of stuff with pictures, so I couldn't see your # 1 entry about getting published in Phoenix!

I'm not surprised someone wanted to publish you as I always enjoy the things you write.