It is because of a confluence to two seemingly unrelated events that I am writing this post.
#ONE During the PBS Evening News, this 3-minute video appeared featuring author Jennifer Weiner. An author about who I know (or knew) nothing – not her name, her writing, or anything else you would expect this librarian to know. I found Weiner’s comments valid, not only from my professional point of view, but also from my gender viewpoint. “Chick Lit.” I bristle (yes, my feminist ire is activated), but I do not read this “genre.” I do not read “Chick Lit.”
#TWO The next day, the VERY next day, during my daily constitutional in and about the side streets as I meander miles into downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, I pass many a well-read household with a Free Little Library scattered here and there. I stop. I browse. I keep moving on most days. Except for this one. Sitting there upright, bold and brash, among the stack of other attractive “chick lit” authors is Good In Bed by none other than Jennifer Weiner. Yes, dear reader, the same Jennifer Weiner who spoke to me the previous.
I carried it home in the crook of my arm, walking proudly, I tell you! With a smile, I placed it on my night table deciding that it would be my reward for finishing the first (in a long list of ) Thomas Hardy novel. And it was. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. There are myriad discussions online and in lit classes, set among the average reader and the erudite reader, about the worthiness of “chick lit” as literature. I refuse to go there. Where I will go is here: if publishers/writers/academicians choose to genderize writing based upon it being “fun,” including sex, humor, and perhaps relevancy in light of our mundane human foibles, we need to remember that there is a genre for men – Dick Lit.
Weiner, Jennifer. Good In Bed. New York: Washington Square Press, 2001. Print.