Sunday, December 31, 2006

Chick lit (2)

I'm sorry if I sounded rather judgemental about chick lit as a genre yesterday. To be honest I could have written something equally dismissive about literary fiction, in fact most of the books I have ever failed to finish have been so-called literary offerings.I am not a literary snob, I just like well-written books with a good storyline and characters I can relate to. Of course such books can be found in any genre, as can trash.

Not that I am old, of course, but my own 'chick' days were during my mid 20's in the Margaret Thatcher era....I worked in the City at the time of endless champagne lunches and later in the West End,so I was also no stranger to designer stores and media types. But I tired of the shallowness of that life and, after some ill health, changed to a job which didn't involve commuting.

Most of my 30's passed in a blur. Within a few months I lost my well-paid local job as the economy took a downturn and then, at 31, had to watch our much wanted first baby fighting for life on a ventilator. There is nothing like that sort of experience to make you grow up quickly. Then although son 1 progressed well, son 2 turned out to have major problems of a different kind and life was taken over by appointments with therapists and battles with education professionals until he started school. I was unable to resume my professional career, though have continued to snatch hours to work from home and do voluntary work to give something back to people who helped me. I 'lost' almost a decade of my life when I rarely read a book or listened to music, when I was a mental and physical mess, though I am much more together now.

So no, I don't really identify with the protagonists of some of the books written for younger women. I guess nowadays I am looking for books about midlife crises and family difficulties, lost loves, loyalties and regrets.I have experienced all of these along the way as I found that I couldn't 'have it all' in the way some of the more feminist novels I read in my younger days had suggested.

But if our experiences shape our own writing then at least I have some substantial material to work with!


Debi said...

Hi Cathy - I've just got a sparkly new statcounter and it showed you'd visited my blog.

Traced it back (never know whether to be impressed or freaked by this technology) and found you. And lo and behold - you're linked to me!

Thanks - I'll do likewise. I can relate to much of what you say (though I was never a Thatcher city babe) from the little I've seen so far, so I look forward to getting to know you better in 2007.

Cathy said...

Hi Debi

Nice to 'meet' you! Yes I have only just discovered your blog and linked to it over the Xmas holiday...saw a link on someone else's blog, as one does ( but can't remember where!)
Look forears to getting to know you better too.

Cathy said...

And I can't type today...last post should have read 'look forward'!!!!