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Is Chick Lit Literature?

B.C.’s The Tyee offers a view into the debate over “Chick Lit,” most recently sparked by an anthology edited by Elizabeth Merrick, entitled This Is Not Chick Lit: Original Stories by America’s Best Women Writers. Merrick, a New York author and writing instructor, says she was initially thrilled by the publication of Bridget Jones’s Diary, now marking its 10th anniversary. But the success of the genre has made it more difficult for literary fiction from women to be published, she says.

Her anthology and its blunt title have also ignited reaction from “chick lit” quarters. Jennifer Weiner, author of Good in Bed and In Her Shoes, retorted on a blog: “We’ve got the country’s (self-proclaimed) best women writers turning up their noses at their fellow women authors’ more commercial efforts.” Weiner also defended such works on the popular literature blog Beatrice.com earlier this year: “The best chick-lit books deal with race and class, gender wars and workplace dynamics, not just shoes and shopping,” while noting that more literary works dwell on “death (often sudden), regret, and disappointment (always permanent).”

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Click here for the story in The Tyee