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Topic: Let's define Chick Lit

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Subject: Let's define Chick Lit
Date Posted: 5/2/2009 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 862
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Several members have mentioned wanting a definition of the genre and today I read a  post where a member was told that her shelf held no chick lit titles although I saw Sophie Kinsella and Carly Philips books listed there.  Now I am confused.  HELP!

Date Posted: 5/2/2009 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2007
Posts: 3,773
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from wikipedia:

Chick lit is a term used to denote genre fiction within women's fiction written for and marketed to young women, especially single, working women in their twenties and thirties. The genre sells well, with chick lit titles topping bestseller lists and the creation of imprints devoted entirely to chick lit. It generally deals with the issues of modern women humorously and lightheartedly.[1]

Although usually including romantic elements, women's fiction (including chick lit) is generally not considered a direct subcategory of the romance novel genre, because in women's fiction the heroine's relationship with her family or friends may be just as important as her relationship with the hero.[2]

Chick lit features hip, stylish, career-driven[1] female protagonists, usually in their twenties and thirties. The women featured in these novels may be obsessed with appearance or have a passion for shopping.[1]

The setting is generally urban and the plot usually follows the characters' love lives and struggles for professional success (often in the publishing, advertising, public relations, or fashion industry). The style is usually of an airy, irreverent tone and includes frank sexual themes. It frequently makes use of current slang and cliches.

Date Posted: 5/2/2009 10:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 2,402
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That's a good definition! I could make the argument either way as far as Sophie Kinsella goes. Carly Philips IMO is pure romance rather than chick lit in part because most of the action centers around the heroine and her love interest--you will rarely 'see' the heroine do anything for any length of time without talking to or about her man, thinking about him, or otherwise drawing the focus back on the love story.

Date Posted: 5/2/2009 10:51 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 798
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Sophie Kinsella is definitely chick lit. I consider Carly Philips to be contemporary romance.

Date Posted: 5/3/2009 12:34 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 13,147
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I don't think Carly Phillips qualifies as chick lit. At least, not in my opinion. Sophie Kinsella is chick lit. Great chick lit too!

Date Posted: 5/3/2009 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2007
Posts: 3,773
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I think what might be the problem is the covers. I think the publishers are trying to make them appeal more to chick lit fans instead of showing the bodice ripper covers. By using the pastels and the cartoon character drawings, or showing young women, they are confusing people who don't know the difference between chick lit and romance.