Monday, September 06, 2004

Chick Lit Strikes Back

In the name of science, Bust magazine undertakes an experiment to determine the effects of Chick Lit on the average female reader:

My first volunteer, Cassandra L., read nothing but "chick lit" for 30 days, at the rate of approximately four and a half titles (256 pages average) a week. By day 11, she developed a bizarre tendency to fall down in high heels, especially in the presence of male employers and potential suitors, though by day 14 she began to carry a Marc Jacobs handbag, which she used to control her balance. By day 20, Cassandra needed special electromagnetic spectrum therapy to relieve the eyestrain caused by overexposure to the color pink on book jackets. By day 28, she slurred in a unique dialect that consisted of endearments like "crazy sweetie kitten" and weird British-isms like "naff." On her final day, she appeared disoriented as she stumbled up to the counter at a coffeeshop and tried to order something called a "cosmojito."

Ha! Vindication! Now that I've got scientific evidence on my side I can go back to being a literary snob with my conscience assuaged.

Apropos of nothing, one of my newest discoveries, Susanna Clarke, has landed on the Booker prize long list for her novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. I first ran across her short stories in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror series. Any Janeites who also enjoy fantasy will love her work. She writes what I guess you could call Regency magical realism, centered around two or three families in a country village, gossiping, dancing, and tea-drinking, except the vicar's wife usually ends up having a knack for turning boorish young officers into mice or something. In my favorite, "The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse," he doesn't misplace his horse so much as lose it in Faery Land. My two favorite genres combined! It's witty and fun and I love it, and her novel looks pretty gothic-y and I'm dying to read it (Tom Jones? Who?). Maybe that will be my birthday present to myself or something. Every now and then you find a new author and you immediately know you're going to read everything they'll ever write.


Post a Comment

<< Home