Since no one has posted today, I thought I'd bring up an article I saw in today's Wall Street Journal. In the article ("Chick Lit Revisted," Nov. 26, 2005), Joanne Kaufman takes a scornful crack at the world of women’s fiction. She begins by mentioning the recent movie deal by the “unfathomably prolific” Danielle Steele, calling her work “contrived,” “cliched,” and filled with “Hallmark prose,” not to mention “plodding and dull-witted.” But instead of limiting her opinion to Ms. Steele’s work, she goes on to comment on the genre of women’s fiction as a whole. According to Ms. Kaufman, although the genre has evolved in recent times, “intelligent design isn’t a factor.” Judith Krantz? Barbara Taylor Bradford? According to Ms. Kaufman, “one does not discuss their books in terms of literary merit. They have very little of it.” (Although she does admit that their work ends with the reader being “uplifted by the protagonist’s successful struggle against the odds”). And the entire chick lit movement is discounted as filled with “brisk frothy reads”.
Now, Ms. Kaufman is certainly entitled to her opinion but I have to wonder where this scorn is coming from. Any guesses? And I'd think that rather than deriding women's fiction, Ms. Kaufman could write a far more interesting article about why this fiction is so popular.