"Chick-lit" - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-20-2011, 06:35 PM
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Novelist Polly Courtney has dropped her publisher HarperCollins for giving her books "condescending and fluffy" covers aimed at the chick lit market.

[...]

"My writing has been shoehorned into a place that's not right for it," she said this morning. "It is commercial fiction, it is not literary, but the real issue I have is that it has been completely defined as women's fiction Yes it is page turning, no it's not War and Peace. But it shouldn't be portrayed as chick lit."

It's a Man's World (given the tagline by Avon, "but it takes a woman to run it") is set in the world of lads' mags, following the story of Alexa Harris, asked to head up a magazine, Banter, with an all-male editorial team. Subjected to "light-hearted" misogyny in the office, Alexa also finds herself the victim of a hate campaign by women's rights activists.

- Full story.

I'm thinking about this, and I'm having a hard time coming up with a definition for "chick-lit" that isn't overly broad.

Anyways, discuss.
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#2 Old 09-21-2011, 03:34 PM
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This immediately made me think of this article:

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Two 29-year-old British women, annoyed that the bookstore WH Smith had a section devoted to women’s fiction, wrote Kate Swann, WH Smith CEO, to demand the removal of the category. They wrote that the section was too pink and fluffy, and lacking in classic authors, and therefore presumably demeaning to women.

Their appeal to the “sisterhood” paid off — Swann agreed and changed company policy

I think the whole idea of 'women's' fiction is ridiculous. Your gender does not dictate what you'll enjoy reading. You can make broad generalised statements like women prefer romance and men prefer action but that is patently not true in all, or even the majority, of cases. I'd be very angry as a writer if the publishers decided to cut off half the population in their advertising by saying my book was only for 'chicks'.
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#3 Old 09-21-2011, 04:33 PM
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I think it's like the whole "chick flick" thing. They are written by women and marketed to women, and are therefore deserving of contempt and scorn. They are no more absurd or devoid of unintellectual nonsense than, say, "Transformers" or "Cowboys and Aliens".

"If you are lonely when you're alone, you are in bad company."
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#4 Old 09-21-2011, 05:26 PM
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One of my favourite authors has had to change how her name appears on her books.. Because apparently men won't buy a historical fiction book by Manda Scott but will buy one by M.C. Scott..

Her books also had to be published as fantasy in the USA instead of historical fiction because (the publishers said! ) that Americans wouldn't be able to process the idea of history from 2000 years ago. I don't know..

However, as much as I HATE the generalisation, apart from Manda, I won't buy historical fiction by a female author.. I've tried! Believe me I've tried! Tried all the well-known authors (such as Philippa Gregory ), as well as just ones I've seen on the shelf and they're just all crappy mushy vomiting inducing romance crap! I will rip the book to shreds the next time I read about an oppressed woman in x time period who defies the social norms of the time and chases the man that her family and society or whatever says she cannot have! And they both risk everything to be together! And it makes me want to tear my brain out..
Give me ****ing battle scenes and gore! Oh and actually try to fit just a little bit of historical accuracy in it, please? Just describing them wearing certain clothes doesn't make it historical fiction you stupid people!

Sorry, I know I'm generalising but apart from Manda I haven't been able to find a female historical fiction author who's books don't obsesses around sex and love.. (And yes, male authors are perfectly able to write about it, and some do, but they tend to have a bit of action and interesting stuff going on and the romance is just a sub-plot not the whole ****ing plot.. )


EDIT:

On another note about HarperCollins choosing god awful covers.. Take a look at the covers of a selection of books they've recently released in their teen fiction section...

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)




Yes, those are genuine book covers.. I have seen all of those in the "dark romance" section of the "Teenage Fiction" section in Waterstones...

Go help us all when those classics are being rebranded as Twilight rip-offs...
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#5 Old 09-21-2011, 10:24 PM
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I have always enjoyed chic-lit and chic flicks.....but I have close guy pals who really enjoy them too.....so that doesnt exactly fit....hmmmm intresting....

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#6 Old 09-23-2011, 10:43 PM
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The bookstores here seem to be full of murder mysteries and thrillers written by women. I actually like romances and have picked books up and put them back on the shelf because the back cover mentions the finding of a body, or someones head or hand has been found in a house, or similar. I dont want to read that sort of stuff. These are women writing these things. So I dont see womens fiction being shoehorned into any category. I guess any writer has the choice to not go with a publisher if they want to market it with a frilly pink cover. There are books that are obvious chicklits and have the pastelly, glittery covers, but these are easy to distinguish from other books.
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#7 Old 09-23-2011, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annia View Post


EDIT:

On another note about HarperCollins choosing god awful covers.. Take a look at the covers of a selection of books they've recently released in their teen fiction section...

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)




Yes, those are genuine book covers.. I have seen all of those in the "dark romance" section of the "Teenage Fiction" section in Waterstones...

Go help us all when those classics are being rebranded as Twilight rip-offs...

That is crazy. Good god.
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#8 Old 09-25-2011, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Annia View Post

On another note about HarperCollins choosing god awful covers.. Take a look at the covers of a selection of books they've recently released in their teen fiction section...

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)




Yes, those are genuine book covers.. I have seen all of those in the "dark romance" section of the "Teenage Fiction" section in Waterstones...

Go help us all when those classics are being rebranded as Twilight rip-offs...

oh god im speechless. edward and bellas favourite book? seriously. what? thats awful
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#9 Old 09-25-2011, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Pirate Ferret View Post

oh god im speechless. edward and bellas favourite book? seriously. what? thats awful

What's even worse is that Edward actually hates Wuthering Heights...

(Don't judge me, I have read Twilight and I actually loved it.. Because it's so horrendously bad that it incredibly amusing.. However, 2 months ago I gave away my copies of the books because I was bored of it )
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