The “Lit” in Chick Lit

Though fans of chick lit will rightfully hate the condescension, consumer reviews of Jennifer Weiner’s (In Her Shoes, Good in Bed) new title, Certain Girls (Atria, April 8 ) may bring new readers to the genre:

USA Today, 4/07

Much of what is labeled chick lit requires little more from a reader than a mere fling with marshmallow-y fluff…Then there is Jennifer Weiner… Her novels are full-bodied, meat-and-potatoes relationships. It’s this quality that has elevated the former journalist into the upper echelons of femme fiction.

Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/06

The title of Jane Smiley’s review on Sunday pretty much sums up her take — “Weiner is Talented Enough to Aim Higher”:

Weiner is a talented and accomplished novelist, with real stylistic flair, excellent and sometimes laugh-out-loud wit, and good insight into her characters. In her latest novel, she seems boxed in by her chosen genre, and it’s a shame, because she’s got the intelligence and the ambition to address larger questions than the psychological ups and downs of her nice Jewish characters. For whatever reason, though, she doesn’t dare.

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