When I hear the word “chick lit,” I automatically picture the condescending looks I’ve received from others. The scrunched up nose, the vomity face, the eye roll… I’ve seen it all.
For reasons I won’t address in this article, Chick Lit gets a bad rap. People associate the genre with mindless literature, with gossipy women talking about lipgloss and men while sipping on tea and wearing all pink. There’s this notion that Chick Lit is not deep lit at all. As Kirsty Schofield discusses on her website, though, Chick Lit is much more complex a genre than given credit. It encompasses many types of works with many different styles.
Even before I started writing in the genre, I’ve been a fan. I’ve ignored the eye rolls, the snide remarks. I’ve been an avid follower of books and writers.
Chick Lit does cover talk about lip gloss and men and tea and pink… sometimes. But this is not all that categorizes the genre. To me, Chick Lit is an approach to explaining the modern woman’s struggle to find a lot of things--to find love, to find satisfaction, to find fulfillment, and to find identity. These searches can be humorous, can sometimes involve a man, can sometimes involve a gaggle of gossipping friends. But sometimes they don’t. Chick Lit, like any genre, is diverse in its tone, its goals, its message.
It is the same in several respects, though.
It is relevant. It is deep. It is real.
Many women can find themselves, find characters like themselves, in the pages of these books. At the end of the day, isn’t that what qualifies something as having literary value? Don’t we all want to connect to something, to see ourselves in the pages of a story?
Lindsay Detwiler, Author