Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Grab Your Sunscreen and Chick Lit and I'll Meet You at the Beach
Summer is finally here and if it stops raining, you can find me at the beach with a new chick lit book.
This genre of fiction is one of the newest stars in the constellation. The subject of chick lit is almost always urban, single, career women in their 20s and 30s and the tone is light and funny. These gals like to work, break up with their boyfriends and buy shoes. And if you think that you can't judge a book by its cover, think again at least as far as Chick lit is concerned: the book covers routinely feature stilettos, designer bags and neon pink backgrounds.
This doesn't sound like literature that would be birthed from the Women's Liberation movement but it is. Starting in the late 1960s, women have been entering the workforce in droves and choosing career paths in professions once denied to them. They have also been delaying marriage and children: today, the average American woman marries at age 26. These lifestyle changes have created a new phase of life for women - after high school and before the committment of motherhood, and it is this phase that is described most often in Chick Lit.
But can you really call it feminist literature??? It seems to focus on hyper-consumerism and obsession with ex-boyfriends, hardly traditional feminist priorities. According to many, however, chick lit is feminist literature, a new type of feminist literature that examines the interplay between women and popular culture and takes itself far less seriously than the women's libbers of the 1970s. Even the word "chick" is regarded differently. Once a word of derision, it is now a perfectly acceptable appellation. Chick is now chic.
Today, the Chick lit boom that started with Bridget Jones' Diary and Sex and the City has traveled around the world with original titles originating in India, Russia, Sweden, Italy, Indonesia and Japan to name a few. Here's a list of new titles you can find a little closer to home on the third floor of the Des Plaines Public Library:
Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
Summer House by Nancy Thayer
Hot House Flowers and the Nine Plants of Desire by Margot Berwin
Dune Road by Jane Green
The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells
Queen Takes King by Gigi Levangie Grazer
The Wedding Girl by Madeline Wickham
Pick one up on the 3rd floor and I'll see you on the sand. I'll be under the giant straw hat reading a book with Jimmy Choos on the cover.
P.S. I am not one of the woman in this photo. I have a bigger... hat.