What is Chick Lit?

Crosley on the importance of substance.
  • Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Crosley:  No. I don’t consider my book to be chicklit. I don’t really know what that is honestly. Is that a book with a female narrator? In that case, we’re in big trouble because we’re going to have to start extending back centuries, back to Jane Austin, who by the way, I don’t know what the big deal is with Jane Austen. She wrote the same novel 12 times and changed the names of the characters, with the exception of Pride and Prejudice, which is slightly different. If you’ve ever read Emma or-- I’m quicker to sink teeth into Jane Austen than I am into the pink-covered books with the weird women’s body parts in cartoons on the cover. Having said that, if someone had slapped a martini glass with a tiny little cell phone in lieu of an olive on my cover, I think I would’ve had sort of a Defcon 7 conniption fit because I do recognize it as a branding term and it’s not really about the writing itself. I guess chicklet has to have some sort of romantic component which my writing certainly doesn’t. It’s also not fiction. I’m a woman who wrote The Essays. They’re essays by a female voice. That’s certainly not something I’d try to avoid. It’s something I’m proud of. But at the same time, there’s an essay in there about Oregon Trail. I don’t think that Oregon Trail is specifically feminine or masculine.I am looking forward to turning 30 because I feel like I’ve spent all of 29 kind of prepared for it. I’m excited to be at like the base level of a decade again. This is my theory, that I’ll feel like a little bit younger at 30 than I will at 29 because I won’t be saying goodbye to something. Because I feel like while I’m no longer the youngest kid in the room, I feel like a lot of people have that experience of being 24 to 26, going to a party and realizing that maybe everyone’s a little bit older and everyone’s constantly telling you how young you are. “OH, you’re just a baby, don’t worry about.” I don’t have that anymore. I’m no longer the youngest kid in the room but it’s kind of nice. I don’t know if I’d want to be that person. I’m looking forward to 30. I will actually be turning 30 in Alaska. That’s where I’m going to turn 30. That’s where the magic elves come out and they ordain you 30 years old and fully grown. I’m going to a wedding of a friend who’s in Alaska. I’m actually in the wedding. She took a great leap of faith after reading The Wedding Essay in the book, which is rather vicious and asked me to be in her wedding. To be totally hokey about it, it’s actually be a great experience. When she wants me to do things for her, I suddenly feel that urge to do all those sort of girlish things that I had eschewed in the past. I want to be there for her. I want to fold cards and make origami napkins. It’s this weird desire. I don’t know. My origami napkin is ticking. It’s amazing.

Question: Is the term chicklit offensive?

Crosley:  I think it’s misleading. I think there are people that want to write chicklit and it’s misleading on both ends. It’s misleading for people who hate it; I don’t think they quite know what they’re talking about when they say they hate it because it’s become such a huge genre that it’s impossible to pinpoint what exactly chicklit is. And then there are people who talk about wanting to become chicklit writers. Well, what does that mean? You want to become plum sites [ph?]? More chickie? Less chickie? More fashion? Less fashion? It’s all just a big knob that you have to turn and it’s a big pink knob that I do try to avoid, not because I’m grossed out by it but because it’s just not me and I don’t understand it. I think my biggest fear in labeling this chicklit is that someone would pick it up expecting one thing and be disappointed by it. If people read a review that I feel is really accurate and get it and then hate it, that’s their right. It’s also their right to return the book. But if they were misled by a kind of marketing scheme, that seems unfair to everybody.