10.11.2004

IS FUCKING GOING TO BE THE NEW SHOES?

Here, an excerpt from a rather long (but entertaining) column from The Guardian about the Frankfurt Book Fair. The UK seemed to be ahead of the US in terms of kicking-off the chick lit trend; perhaps then, herein lies the first whiff of its demise?
According to the fair's underlying chatter, freshly nudged into the literary dustbin are a couple of once-thriving genres: the kind of narrative non-fiction exemplified by such titanic successes as Longitude and Fermat's Last Theorem, and all but the most solidly established chick-lit. The former, witheringly sent up by an agent I meet as 'things like The History Of The Potato and The Man Who Invented The Diving Helmet,' apparently represents an archetypal case of an exhausted market; as far as the latter is concerned, Jenny Colgan and Jane Green may soon be the only novelists left standing.

In their place is a raft of more voguish categories. According to Ed Jaspers, an agent whose company, Conville & Walsh, is selling the yet-unwritten by already-notorious Intimate Adventures Of A London Call Girl (mysteriously credited to Belle Du Jour, and initially and erroneously traced to Toby 'How to Lose Friends' Young), the British are beginning to lose their stereotypical habit of putting most literature about sex in the box reserved for 'mucky books'; as the success of the French memoir The Sexual Life Of Catherine M proves, we may be embracing a slightly more continental sense of sophistication.
Related discussion of this new literary trend from our archives:

The obligatory essay on Belle du Jour
Chick lit successors do what they do
Miramax "all chick-litted out"
Elizabeth envisions "a new look for fluff"

-Lauren
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