If you're an avid chick-lit reader, it may be time to say goodbye to those pink, shoe-decorated covers.
Laura Miller of Salon writes about the proclaimed demise of chick lit -- books typically about young single women searching for the perfect career and the perfect guy. Sales of such books are down and Miller speculates that the economic decline may have something to do with it. After all, it's hard to identify with a character coping with a shopping addiction when you can't afford a shopping spree yourself.
As the first species of popular fiction to treat its heroines’ professional aspirations as seriously as their romantic prospects, chick lit flourished at a time when ambitious young women poured into a robust job market, seeking both love and success, often with a heaping serving of pricey commodities on the side. A concept like the “Shopaholic” series (one of the most popular and least charming exemplars of the breed) smells decidedly off in the face of 8.3 percent unemployment.
I think the definition of chick lit is vague and a little bit different to every reader. To me, chick lit is a mass-market paperback with a pink cover, decorated with pictures of shoes and martinis. It's a short and frothy beach read, requiring minimal emotional and mental investment. But other readers may consider authors like Jodi Picoult, who writes novels about families and relationships, or even classics like Pride & Prejudice as chick lit.
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Stories about women spending exorbitant amounts of money on shoes may be labeled frivolous now. (On a related note, rewatch an early episode of Sex & the City now. If you thought Carrie was a whiner before the economy tanked...) But the economic downturn could inspire a different, more relatable species of chick lit: stories of young single women, trying to find any job that will pay the rent. Hilarity ensues.
Do you read chick lit?