Relevant Writing

January 27, 2009 at 7:04 pm 1 comment

In light of the recent discussions we’ve been having on this blog and in the comments about “fluff” books and chick lit, I thought I would link you all over to this extremely intelligent viewpoint on the matter written by Joanne Rendell over at the Huffington Post.

In all our discussions here at Literary Transgressions about “fluff” and chick lit, we have yet to breach what might perhaps be the most basic aspect of the debate: gender. As a Smithie, I know it sounds woefully cliche to bring this up, but it seems to me that in all our ponderings about what makes chick lit today so derided and simply not respected, we have failed to look at the fact that most chick lit authors are women. Is there something more to be said there or is chick lit disrespected for other, more stylistic reasons?


Entry filed under: Musings and Essays, Romance and Chick Lit.

Hot Town, Super in the City The Shift from Square to Smart

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. KT  |  January 27, 2009 at 8:21 pm


    You are so right — historically, more women than men have been considered ‘fluff.’ But you can always counter the argument by, say, comparing Tom Clancy with Margaret Atwood. Matthew Lewis vs George Eliot would be a more historical example of why the female fluff generalization isn’t always true.

    You’re right, again, though. Often chick lit is dismissed because it is, in fact, CHICK lit, and the books men read (or write) are often just as terrible.

    Maybe the real question is, though, why are ‘fluffy’ books marketed toward women? Why are men expected to read ‘Dreams from my Father’ while women are being marketed books like ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’?

    Take a look at the so-called ‘literature’ on the bestseller lists today, and you’ll see that the ones men could be expected to read have far more unisex covers, with dark colors and more realistic imagery than their more feminine counterparts, which invariably involve a pastel and a picture of an article of clothing. It’s not that women aren’t writing good books — it’s that the market expects women to read the crappy ones.


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