Monday, January 19, 2009

Chick-Lit or Women's Fiction?

From Wikipedia:

Women's fiction is an umbrella term for a wide-ranging collection of literary sub-genres that are marketed to female readers, including many mainstream novels, romantic fiction, "chick lit," and other sub genres.

Although sometimes used synonymously, it is distinguished from Women's writing, which deals with literature written by (rather than targeted at) women.

Chick lit is a term used to denote genre fiction within women's fiction written for and marketed to young women, especially single, working women in their twenties and thirties. The genre sells well, with chick lit titles topping bestseller lists and the creation of imprints devoted entirely to chick lit. It generally deals with the issues of modern women humorously and lightheartedly.

So which is it for you? Do you read chick-lit or "women's literature"? Do you consider it a guilty pleasure?


  1. I love chick lit. Any hot pink book with shoes or legs on it and I am sold.

  2. I'm definitely more a women's literature type of person. I do read some chick-lit, don't get me wrong, and I enjoy most of what I read--it's just something I have to be a certain mood to really enjoy.

  3. Well, then, shoot. I should have been using "women's fiction" in my genre explanations because I'm almost 40~! Ick.

    I like both, but will start using the words womens' fiction now.

  4. Many people use the term "chick lit" in a very negative way, implying that the writing is fluffy, pink and pointless. However, when it's done well, Chick Lit is incredibly funny and entertaining and leaves you with a real feel-good factor. Who wasn't cheering on Bridgit Jones?

    If Jane Austen were writing today about young girls dressing up and looking for a rich husband, she'd be dismissed as Chick Lit. Instead we class her as a writer of insightful, social comedies.

    Now I'm past the Chick stage however, I wouldn't mind a bit of mother-hen lit! Anyone know of some?

    Laura Essendine
    Author – The Accidental Guru
    The Accidental Guru Blog
    The Books Limited Blog

  5. Rachel: Lol. I used to be the same way but it seemed like I was reading the same stories with different protaginist so I started being more selective.

    Wendy: I think I'm with you. Red Dress Ink was my favorite publisher for about a year and now I can hardly read it at all.

    A Novel Menagerie: Lol. I don't really think that's the most accurate description, just what I could find. I think chick-lit is just fluffy feel-good stuff while women's fiction can still be fluffy and deal with serious issues as well.

    Laura Essendine: Thank you for stopping by! I agree with you. I don't think any genre should be looked down upon because if it wasn't needed it wouldn't be written. I'm afraid I don't really know of any "hen lit" but there is a book of stories on Amazon called Chik Lit for Foxy Hens

  6. I think I read a bit of both. I lean towards women's fiction but I enjoy a good chic lit. book as well :) There is a wishy-washy answer, isn't it?

  7. Women's literature is more for me, but I do read chick-lits occasionally. :)

  8. I lean towards women's fiction but once in a while I enjoy a good chick lit book and have read several. I think, nowadays, there are many chick lit books out there that carry more of a message than just a light, fluffy read.

  9. I've read both genres,according to what mood I am in at the moment. I don't think it should be an "either or" deal,just enjoy whatever book speaks to you:)

  10. I don't really like the term "chick lit" for the same reasons as Laura...the same goes for the word "chick" in general, actually. I can't help but see it as a little patronizing even though I know it's not necessarily always used that way.

  11. Samantha: Nah, not really. I think I'm kind of in the middle myself.

    Alice Teh: I've noticed! You always find the ones with the most beautiful covers too!

    Dar & Lady T: I agree!

    Nymeth: Lol, I do hear the patronizing-ness sometimes. What I hate is when someone says the words (these same people do the same thing for any kind of romances) in that snooty voice reserved for something icky :o( They don't know what they're missing, huh?

  12. I read both - and no, I don't consider it a "guilty pleasure" despite being a lit student...
    If we're talking percentage, though, I think chick lit would be higher up on my list.

  13. I think I'd prefer women's fiction more than chick-lit. I tend to be more choosy with the latter, dunno why...

  14. I like both! And i'm a sucker for a cute cover too, and lots of chic-lits have fun covers.

  15. Kathrin: Good for you! I don't think I consider any of my reading material guilty pleasues either.

    Melody: I do! A lot of it starts to sound the same after awhile lol.

    Naida: I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover but I do it anyways too lol.

  16. I think I confuse the two. After reading the two, I'd say WF. I don't love-love chicklit.

  17. True! Guilty pleasures may be for chocolate if you already had a bar, but for books? Heck, I can read a classic, a play and chick lit or women's fiction one after the other and it wouldn't matter. As long as I don't consider it a waste of time, it's okay, right?


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