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The importance of being Richard

Russell Smith looks at the male version of chick lit in his weekly Globe and Mail column. Dubbed “dick lit,” these chronicles of male relationship angst are touted as the antidote to treacly but hip chick-lit novels. But as Smith points out, the two sub-genres have a lot in common: “[The dick-lit book] takes the form of first-person memoir or first-person fiction, is set among striving young people in a large city (usually New York) and tells the story of a youngish man — a man who is starting to feel not so young — who works in the world of media, just like Bridget Jones.” Smith also notes that not only are the plotlines and characters in dick lit books similar to their feminine counterparts, they espouse the same conservative, family-values ideology: “They all begin and end with the same premise: that sex on its own is unsatisfying, that monogamous true-love relationships are the goal of every sensitive man, and that a man who is unmarried by the age of 30 should be embarrassed.”

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Read Russell Smith’s Globe column