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So emo

There’s been a lot of book-biz chatter about the chick-lit genre in the past few years, but in a column on the Book Standard site, Jessa Crispin takes on a male analogue: “the emo boy novel.”

Writes Crispin: “It’s making an entire generation of men’s writing look bad. I suppose it may be fair, as we women have to fight through the jungle of chick lit every day to publish our novels. But I’m begging for publishers to at least ghettoize emo-boy lit, maybe with color coordination and a design trick like our own high-heels-and-feet covers, before I have to start disregarding every book written by a man between the ages of 20 and 35.”

And how can you can tell you’re reading emo-boy lit? “Just open up to any random page and see if you can find a reference to any band mentioned on Pitchforkmedia.com in the last two years. Better yet, just look at the epigraph. If it’s from Death Cab for Cutie, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Bright Eyes or any other band of any kind, it’s an emo boy at work. Still not sure? Flip back to the author photo. Look like the underweight guy in high school who only talked to the girls and wrote out lyrics in his notebook during gym? Does he have perfectly ungroomed stubble? Emo boy.”

Mind you, the argument might be a bit stronger if Crispin actually identified more than a single novel (Andy Greenwald’s Miss Misery, published by Simon & Schuster) in this “ubiquitous” trend.

Related links:
Click here for Jessa Crispin’s Book Standard column