Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chick Lit

I've been thinking about "chick lit" this morning. I am reading "Fly Away Home" by Jennifer Weiner, and I am struck by how much I like it. I have read most of her books and have liked most of the ones I've read, and this morning I've been thinking about why they get so much flack. And these thoughts led me back to my dissertation subject--Eliza Haywood--and how/why she got so much flack.

I want to write more about this, but I have to go to an eye doctor appointment right now, so I'll ponder on the topic while my eyes are being examined.

In the meantime, do any of you know of academic conferences that focus on popular or commercial women's fiction--contemporary or historical? I would love to find something like that, especially something that allowed for looking the relationships between early popular women's fiction and the contemporary stuff.

I think I might pick out new glasses today! I think I've had my current ones for four or five years.


baxie said...

having never read a word of said authors output beyond cover copy, let me just say-



Good Enough Woman said...

Bax, Weiner has made comments in interviews that align with your assessment, and she has also talked about the way some "literary" women writers attack women's popular fiction as a way of assuring their own separation from the criticized group.

I do recognize some differences, and I can see how contemporary "chick lit" differs from something like Kate Chopin's The Awakening in the way they handle issues like motherhood and marriage, but authors like Weiner do create women who's lives are reflective of my own and she seems to address issues that are significant in many women's lives.

I would, indeed, love to find a conference that hosted discussion of such topics.

Ink said...

HA HA! I was all INTO the post and wondering why Haywood did get so much flack and then BAM, you're like BUT I HAVE TO GO.

*utterly deflated*

Hope your eye appt went well, though!

And yes! My colleague presented on Chick Lit at the Popular Culture Association conference a few years ago, and that was when it was all controversial and heated and stuff. I'm sure they've done more panels since then.

I've done a wee bit of research in the area too for a project (that I later put on hold) and can recommend a book or two that you MUST read if you decide to pursue the topic. Shoot me an email if you want the titles, 'kay?

Good Enough Woman said...

Ink, I sent you a message. I've been buzzing around on the Internet and have found a few things, but I certainly want to know which book I *must* read, so do let me know! And sorry to leave you hanging, but I did get new glasses and some cute prescription sunglasses! I will be so stylish!

Anonymous said...


Above is a link to 'Victorian Popular Novelist Association' a research group. Also try: http://blog.catherinepope.co.uk/ Catherine runs a small publishing company for Victorian Popular Novels and is writing a PhD on Florence Marryat, a late Victorian Popular Novelist.

The Steel Magnolia said...

I was just in the same mindset of Ink! I'd like to know more, too, and was totally thwarted. :( I work on chick lit-ish writers, too, and would like more easy engagement. Let us know more of your thoughts on this!

loveskidlit said...

I thought of PCA too, but then my academic brain wilted. It's summer!

Good Enough Woman said...

So sorry for the postus interruptus! I will offer a longer post, too, with titles of the books I ordered that Ink recommended! my thoughts on this topic are somewhat related to some recent battles on other blogs. Femomhist, you know what I'm talking about! More to come . . .

Anonymous said...

The best 'chick lit' authour I have read is Marian Keyes. http://www.mariankeyes.com/Home

Justice Jonesie said...

Don't you love it when a good book keeps you thinking about the characters? I'll have to check this book out. Hope you like your new glasses!

Ink said...

Hooray for stylish new glasses!

Looking forward to reading your future posts.

(Btw, major points for "postus interruptus"! HA!)