I don't read chick lit. In fact when I go into a bookshop I actively avoid paperbacks with pastel-coloured covers featuring a picture of a cartoon style young woman. It is not because I have anything specifically against chick lit, I believe it to be a harmless lightweight read for women in their 20's and 30's who aspire to a certain lifestyle. Being the wrong side of 45 ( but only just, honest...) I don't see it as being for me. I prefer to get my aspirational influences from glossy magazines.
As I said, I don't read chick lit. At least, I really thought I didn't. In the name of research I decided to look further into the phenomenon, as chick lit seems to have been predominantly what publishers have wanted for the last few years. Where better to start than Trashionista? Oh look, they have just posted their top 10 chick lit books of all time. I have read, and enjoyed, numbers 10 and 1 on the list. I have even flicked through number 7, which I got free with a mag. A further delve into their site reveals reviews of books by Anita Shreve and Melissa Bank, both of whom I list amongst my favourite authors and would categorize as having much more emotional depth and literary quality than the average chick lit.
On my bookshelf I also have this book. Normally the cover would have put me straight off but it is a compilation of stories originally published in Woman & Home magazine (which is surely published for the over 40 market?) and includes some great work by writers such as Andrea Levy, Tessa Hadley, Lesley Glaister and another of my special favourites, Maggie O'Farrell. It was issued to raise funds for Breast Cancer Care, a cause close to my heart ( see here for one of the reasons why). Is this chick lit, or hen lit? Does it matter? Who cares?
I think I am confused now. I need to do more research ....this topic may run and run.