These fictions, which have appeared in the form of books, series or films, belong to what the novelist Cris Mazza christened chicklit or chick-lit in the mid-1990s.
Chick lit is a literary genre that appears a couple of decades ago and usually narrates the adventures and misadventures of white women, middle class and near thirty, immersing us in their struggle to achieve success in professional projects and relationships of love or friendship.
✅ Best chick lit Books in 2019
These are the best chick lit books published this year 2019:
Far from great pretensions or proclaiming itself as a new genre in women’s writing, the chick-lit emphasizes identification between readers and characters, so it uses resources such as autobiography, first-person writing and content based on conversations, confessions, emails and other elements of everyday life.
The literary market, aware of the economic potential of these narratives, has opted for the creation of a product aimed at women whose design is attractive and easily identifiable: pink covers, shiny and decorated with objects that define the aspirations and lifestyle of many of the protagonists, the same that portrayed between cocktails, lipsticks and heels, are parading through its pages.
Several of these works have been enormously popular, copying the lists of best-selling books and helping to define the chick-lit as a highly profitable product and available both in traditional formats, as in new electronic books, or even in adaptations carried up to the small and large screen.
✅ What is chick lit?
The poor quality of this genre and the repetitive and absurd clichés that flood their stories, constitute one of the most recurrent criticisms among those who do not see with very good eyes this literature “for girls“.
The chick-lit is dotted with popular culture and women’s writing, two dimensions that have never been well received by canon and literary criticism.
In this sense, regardless of the quality that these works may have, which of course is predominantly male, he uses the term chick-lit in a generalized manner, imprecise and loaded with negative connotations, which reinforces the idea that the works written by women compose a sub-genre of less interest and restricted to limited realities and not very stimulating for the public.
It is very useful to be clear that it is possible that some women writers are being pigeonholed in a widely rejected genre and are not being recognized for other merits.
However, there are at least three major criticisms that we could launch on the chick-lit if we analyze it from a gender perspective: its perverse effects on the self-perception and self-esteem of many of its readers, the misogynist and consumerist message that is reflected in several of its titles, or its lack of reflection on problems that do not affect white, young and upper-middle class women.
Series like Girls, Sex in New York or Desperate Women portray lives that, except for a slight difference in age between the protagonists, tell us about women who have much in common.
All of them are Westerners, live in big cities like New York and have some kind of glamorous job, like publicists, people in charge in art galleries or lawyers in some important law firm.
There seems to be no room for women with more mundane situations, much less for any kind of criticism or judgement of the protagonists’ privileges.
In fact, as Elizabeth Merrick rightly points out, these contents are exempt from reflections on the advantages of being white or of belonging to the middle and upper classes.
Recently a sub-genre has emerged that is beginning to be called “ethnic chick lit”, but far from wanting to encourage a debate on these issues, it seems to be more a response to marketing strategies that seek to broaden the spectrum of consumers.
✅ Chick lit Authors
This is the title of the article in which Melissa Kaminski and Robert Magee present the results of a study in which they analysed the possible effects for the chick-lit public of identifying with protagonists who, as in the case of the famous Bridget Jones, are the example of low self-esteem and excessive concern for weight and physical appearance.
After using different narratives in a sample of just over 150 women, they concluded that this type of novel has a different impact on the perception that readers have about their sexual attractiveness and self-esteem, also promoting the ideal of thinness and obsession with the image.
The author of Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert presents a chronicle of spirituality and self-knowledge based on her own experience travelling to Italy, India and Indonesia.
The success of the book caused its story to be projected on the big screens, showing us a Julia Roberts who tries to rearrange her emotions by delighting herself with the pleasures of Rome and Naples or meditation in an Indian ashram, to finally rediscover love in Indonesia.
✅ Top chick lit Books (All time)
These are the chick lit top books of all time:
Eat, Pray, Love is interesting, not precisely because it is the first chick lit top book, but rather because it is a turning point that implies replacing the “chick” with the “priv”. In other words, the proposal to travel the world eating, loving and praying until our frustrations disappear is a solution that, I dare say, is within the reach of very few women.
In this sense, the priv-lit transmits a message whose objective seems to be to show us a spiritual goal apparently attainable through tenacity, effort and perseverance, when in reality, the only obstacle to reach the proposed model of happiness is economic.
The acts of consumption in which its protagonists are constantly involved are strictly necessary to achieve their objectives and are justified from the moment they are carried out in order to satisfy legitimate needs of acceptance and love for ourselves.
However, the message that may be most problematic and close to an openly misogynistic thought, is the representation of these women as intrinsically flawed people, stressing their constant need to improve their bodies, their physical appearance, their relationships and their lives.
Under the smell of incense, candles and the air of mysticism that is breathed in the story that drags Julia Roberts to meditate in India, the chick-lit manages to mask and promote consumer culture and traditional female role models.
These narratives, instead of offering a realistic aspirational model composed of progressive goals, play in a totally perverse way with solutions and projects set in complicated scenarios, elitist and therefore inaccessible to a large part of the women who consume this product.
For all these reasons, it is essential to critically analyze the contents presented to us by the chick-lit books and the models of women that it is creating, being aware of the anxiety that such models can perpetrate between the public.
Last updated on 2020-02-21 / Affiliate Links to Amazon / Affiliate API Images