Today’s post will be short. In it I want to feature Jennifer Weiner’s conversations about “Chick Lit,” “Women’s Fiction,” and women authors and their work that are spread across different media outlets.
As I was reading the articles shared in this post it occurred to me that I was literally (pun intended) in graduate school covering (very briefly… but still) Jonathan Franzen’s novel, The Corrections, as he and Weiner were engaged in some type of “Twitter war”according to Vox. Why is this notable? Because in grad school we never discussed Weiner at all as we were reading Franzen’s work. Perhaps that’s fine, as Weiner hasn’t necessarily been vying to be in the “literary canon” and her work isn’t necessarily “literary.”
But the fact that I didn’t even know Weiner existed and didn’t even read one of her books until last year is telling. Or that I had no idea how wide the gap really was between female authors who receive notable reviews and male authors who receive notable reviews (that is, unless their work is mentioned in women’s magazines or the style section of a publication)— especially more literary works which have always been more in my wheelhouse. Please see the conversations and studies in the articles and video link below.
What’s more, looking back on my formal education, I’m not sure how many works by women I actually read in grad school, or during my undergrad for that matter, especially when I was studying philosophy and literature. That is, unless the work was exclusively about feminism and feminist or feminine concerns. Almost like women have never written about anything else that’s worth reading at a more prestigious level. And that … that certainly says a lot, and is worth discussing.
Why isn’t “women’s work,” especially their writing work, considered just that— work? Such reflections make me perk up and pay closer attention to Weiner’s concerns, outlined in the articles and video link below. It’s a conversation worth having.
- Vogue: Jennifer Weiner on “Chick Lit,” Feminism, and Her New Essay Collection, Hungry Heart
- Vox: How a Twitter war in 2010 helped change the way we talk about women’s writing
- The New York Observer: Jennifer Weiner and Jodi Picoult Talk Franzen, Times Oversights
- Huffpost: Jennifer Weiner Talks ‘Chick Lit,’ Hate-Reads And How To Get Paid What You’re Worth ; VIDEO: Chick Lit Hurts Women? Jennifer Weiner Objects
- Slate: I Wrote a Chick-Lit Novel And I’m proud of it.
- The Washington Post: Women on the Verge
- NPR: Women Are Not Marshmallow Peeps, And Other Reasons There’s No ‘Chick Lit’
What are your thoughts and feelings on the conversations being had about “Chick Lit” and “Women’s Fiction” here? Do you have anything you’d like to add to it? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
Stay tuned for the draft of my few paragraphs (or more) of “Chick Lit” or “Women’s Fiction.” It’ll be posted on the blog on Friday. Until then, subscribe to Daily Drafts & Dialogues posts to get more inspiration as you complete this week’s writing prompt.
Did you already complete this week’s writing prompt? Share a link to it in the comments. Or tag me @kecreighton on social: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Medium with a link— or to share more about your experience completing this prompt.
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