Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Dub Thee "Subgenre that Shall Not Be Named"

Why is everyone still crying and moaning over the term "chick-lit?" I mean really? This reminds me of the story I heard about a certain bestselling author who threw (literally, according to my sources) a fit upon finding her titles in the Romance section rather than Fiction.

Yes, it's all fiction. Categories and subgenres are basically marketing tools. We get that. But if you like a book and you're a moody reader like me, maybe you say, "Hm, I want something light and funny that will get me out of a funk. Something like Bridget Jones' Diary, but I've read it a million times, what else you got book world?" And the logical answer would be... chick-lit.

And I love chick-lit. I really do. It doesn't offend my sense of women's rights or make me feel like I'm being talked down to by the publishing world. It doesn't even make me feel like everyone thinks an unhappy single girl just needs a man to take care of her.

Women's fiction, in my eyes, is a completely different classification of books. As is romantic comedy, though I guess that one is probably closest if we really need to lost the chick-lit moniker. I have no doubt that once the marketing teams figure out how to repackage these kinds of books so that they don't piss off overly sensitive, oops -- not going there.

I have no doubt that once the marketing folks figure out a new way to repackage these books, we'll all be okay. I can have my fun reads and they won't have to be pink (and for the record, I know of quite a few that were never released with pink covers). Until then, I'll just refer to them like the Voldemort of the publishing world -- the sub genre that shall not be named.

For some sub genre that shall not be named -ish reads, try:

Erin Duffy's Bond Girl

Here are a few articles to chew over:


As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

Cheers! I like to read widely (and I have to for my bookselling job), and though my usual go-to is probably literary fiction, I do love me some works on the lighter side. If I read Cormac McCarthy and his ilk all the time, I'd go mad!

BriH said...

I completely agree. As a movie goer, I don't watch only one genre of films. Can you imagine having to watch action films all the time? But once in a while they are a fun diversion. Books are the same for me. I like to mix it up between memoir, topical non fiction, literary fiction and, yes, chick lit. Variety is key for me!

PS I read Bond Girl and it was fresh, fun and fantastic.

Becky LeJeune said...

Variety is definitely key and I'd definitely burn out if I limited myself to just one kind of book. And there are so many great things out there to choose from.