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 Some take offense at the label chick lit. I know. I know. I do too. At times. Depending who and how it’s being said.  The tone can be demeaning and dismissive.

Chick lit has been described as trashy, fluffy, frivolous, lacking substance,  mind-numbing all about shoes and hair styles and martinis … ohh…martinis!

Sure not every chick lit novel is great but you can say that of any genre, can’t you?

And not all chick lit is trashy. Far from it.

Take Anna Quindlan’s latest novel  Still Life With Bread Crumbs which is posted as chick lit.

Still Life with Bread Crumbs is a deeply moving and often very funny story of unexpected love, and a stunningly crafted journey into the life of a woman, her heart, her mind, her days, as she discovers that life is a story with many levels, a story that is longer and more exciting than she ever imagined.

Doesn’t sound like shoes and hair styles to me.



And let’s not forget that Quindlan earned a Pulitzer Prize for her journalistic commentaries.





Or take Marian Keyes.

Her novels often deal with such subjects as domestic violence, drug addiction and bereavement. Yet her books are labeled chick-lit. Nothing frivolous about that.



“Chick Lit uses humor to reflect life back to us. It’s a very comforting genre, and it’s the first time our generation has had a voice. It’s a very important genre for all of those reasons.”

Erin Enders gives 7 reasons why we shouldn’t write off chick lit. The article is worth reading. She ends it by saying this:

If you read women writers, you read chick lit or women’s fiction. And because women matter, we should be reading books about them and books by them, regardless of the ridiculous label.

 So, go ahead and leave a review on a chick lit book as part of your participation in chick lit appreciation month.


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  1. That’s the thing, Carol. Chick lit is as varied as any other genre. Some of it is thoughtful, rich and evocative. Some of it…isn’t. That’s why I ask for recommendations from people really familiar with a genre when I sample it.


  2. I’ve never been a fan of the term ‘chick lit’ because it implies only women would be interested in reading it. Same goes for the term ‘women’s fiction.’ Women read many books dominated with male characters, so it goes to reason men could read those dominated by female characters. But in reality that rarely happens, and to ease genre distinction, those terms get used. But that’s okay. Though I’m not a big reader of the genre, sometimes a great chick lit novel is just what I need, whether it’s light and fluffy or deeper in substance. 🙂


    • An interesting perspective, Carrie about only women interested in reading the genre. Your comment made me google chicklit written by men and found a very insightful article in which 3 male chicklit writers talk about the genre.

      Here’s a snippit from the article:
      What do you think of the name chick lit?
      Nick: To be honest, I think it sounds patronising. It sounds like a man invented it to diminish novels about interesting modern women. I don’t think Bridget Jones (who pretty much defined the genre) would dream of ever calling herself a “chick.” On the other hand, plenty of her appalling dates would have called her that and deserved a slap for it.

      What I tend to like about chick lit is the comedy. And of course that it deals with women’s issues and relationships.
      Thanks for stopping by, commenting and leading me to further examine the genre 🙂


  3. Seems to me that there’s some misogyny at play hear if chick lit is looked down upon because the stories are for /about women. I guess it’s time to take the term and reclaiming it as a positive- kind of like “run like a girl” which females are taking back- or say no to the negative connotations! Enlightening post! Nothing frivolous about this topic here, Carol.


  4. Great post as always Carol. I love Chick-lit. It’s my favourite genre to read for ‘pleasure and escape.’ Marion Keyes is awaiting me in my TBR kindle. 🙂


  5. Good morning, Carol., Thank you so much for this post.
    As a visual artist, I find that galleries like to pigeon hole people, and clearly it is the same for writers. As you have cited here, often the pigeon holing is erroneous and gives readers, and in my case viewers often a misleading interpretation of an artist’s work.
    I hope you have a lovely weekend. Janet:)


    • Thanks, Janet, for stopping by and for your insightful comment. I am very interested in learning more how your work can be pigeon holed and misinterpreted. I find you’re such a wonderful original artist.
      Have a great weekend! 🙂


      • When I began my career in 1972, I quickly became known as a ‘wildlife artist’ – a major gallery picked me up and work sold like hot cakes…I did this for about 15 years, and then realised I was totally pigeon holed.
        When I made a conscious change, it upset everyone….but I stayed true to my goal which was to explore my creativity and so today many years later, I am now able to incorporate all the different elements into my work. Trite but true – it really is the journey and not the destination. Have a wonderful weekend. Janet:)


  6. So many good books included in this category. Like with many things in our society, names move or bother folks, but in the end, they are just names/terms. Great post, Carol, and wonderful recommendations.


  7. Not all work that is defined by reviewers as ‘Chick Lit’ is fluffy and inconsequential. I’m not a lover of the term, either. But those who dismiss a book because it’s listed as Chick Lit may well be missing out on something deeper and more worthwhile than this label suggests.


  8. Thanks, Carol, for helping me embrace the label ‘chick lit.’ I always felt uneasy about it but your post and the referenced article have put me at ease. Thanks!


  9. I suppose such diversity and variation would exist within male- lit too, wouldn’t it? And I also suppose some of the fiction written by women may resonate more with the men and vice versa. What could one therefore conclude from this?



    • Yes, you raise a good point. I think the conclusion is that one should read what one likes to read (or write) regardless of the label. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. 🙂


  10. While I haven’t been reading “chick lit” per se recently, I have been focusing on mysteries featuring female leads. So in the broadest sense of the term, I guess you could say I have been. Similar to what Carrie said earlier, my concern with the term is that it is so easily used in either a derogatory fashion or to suggest that only women would read the genre. The manuscript for which I just completed the initial draft features a female lead, but I’m hoping men would also find the story interesting and entertaining.


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