Not By Design
I recently had someone write to me to tell me that she wasn’t going to read my latest book Not By Design because she doesn’t read chick-lit.
At first I felt insulted and my initial reaction was to say but my book is more than chick-lit. And then I thought, why wasn’t I owning up to the chick lit label? Some of my favorite reading is chick lit and I’ve often written in defense of chick lit on my blog. Here are a few samples from posts I wrote.
As I was reading Meg Cabot’s The Royal Wedding I felt a bit guilty enjoying it so much. After all, I’m way past her twenty something target audience. Shouldn’t I be reading something more age appropriate?
Am I that immature?
Yet, I love reading novels that are light and fun.
So maybe I still have the twenty something inside the sixty something me. 🙂
I also waved the chick lit banner when May came along and I celebrated Chick lit month on my blog with this postcard from PostSecret.
So why this hesitation about embracing chick lit? I suppose part of it has to do with the fact that
Chick lit is the latest genre of women’s writing to be ridiculed and criticized.
Even though we are now in the twenty-first century, it seems not much has changed in terms of the reception of women’s novels, as many of the same criticisms are used today regarding chick lit as they were in the nineteenth century in relation to the female writers of that time. For many, the phrase «chick lit» is seen as a derogatory term used to dismiss «any possible literary worth in a text which deals with the intimate life of a young urban professional single woman» (Whelehan, 2005: 213).
And I also posted this:
Some take offense at the label chick lit. I know. I know. I do too. At times. Depending who and how it’s being said. The tone can be demeaning and dismissive.
Chick lit has been described as trashy, fluffy, frivolous, lacking substance, mind-numbing all about shoes and hair styles and martinis … ohh…martinis!
Sure not every chick lit novel is great but you can say that of any genre, can’t you?
And not all chick lit is trashy. Far from it.
Take Anna Quindlan’s latest novel Still Life With Bread Crumbs which is posted as chick lit.
Still Life with Bread Crumbs is a deeply moving and often very funny story of unexpected love, and a stunningly crafted journey into the life of a woman, her heart, her mind, her days, as she discovers that life is a story with many levels, a story that is longer and more exciting than she ever imagined.
Doesn’t sound like shoes and hair styles to me.
Even if it was about shoes and hair styles no chick lit novel is solely about that. There are many levels to a chick lit novel. In my novel Not By Design my protagonist, in having to deal with Multiple Sclerosis and financial issues, learns how to become independent and to respect her own system of values.
About the Author:
Carol Balawyder holds an undergraduate degree with a major in English Literature and a graduate degree in Criminology. She has taught English in various colleges in Montreal, Concordia University and Ho Chi Minh University of Technology in Vietnam. During this phase of her teaching career she developed teaching material including Open For Business (Harper & Row), Windows on Sci-Tech (Thomson Publishing) and Pour Etre Ganganat (Beauchemin Publishers).
In the second half of her teaching career she taught criminology in Police Technology and Corrections Programs. She helped set up and animate a writing workshop for women in prison and has worked in halfway houses and drug rehab centers.
She has self published Mourning Has Broken (a memoir on grief) and her Getting to Mr. Right Series. Her short stories have appeared in Room Magazine, The Canadian Anthology of Fiction, Mindful.org, Between the Lines, Carte Blanche and she was given an honorary mention for a play submitted to The Canadian Playwright Competition.
Website – http://carolbalawyder.com/
Ever since she first appeared in Getting To Mr. Right, Felicity Starr has been struggling to find her own kind of contentment. Now, at thirty-five and living in Rome, Felicity is about to break into the world of fashion design, and caught in a flurry of plans for her wedding when calamity strikes.
Her father’s sudden death brings into question the whole meaning of success. Then Marco, the man she’s about to marry, leaves her when he learns of her Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis.
Forced to return to Montreal, Felicity finds her life thrust into unexpected turns. As she confronts the on-going challenges presented by her disease, she gains the strength to let go of old beliefs and face her inner truths.
Love, friendship and rewarding work come in different forms and Felicity finds it all in ways she never imagined – in a life that’s not by design.
Carol is giving away 5 copies of Not By Design.
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