Friday, June 12, 2009

The Girls of Summer

While we're freezing in our South African winter, The New York Times discusses their Summer reads for the fairer sex.

The “Commencement” characters are savvy about, among other things, feminism and publishing. “When a woman writes a book that has anything to do with feelings or relationships, it’s either called chick lit or women’s fiction, right?” one of them asks. “But look at Updike, or Irving. Imagine if they’d been women. Just imagine. Someone would have slapped a pink cover onto ‘Rabbit at Rest,’ and poof, there goes the ... Pulitzer.”

They’re right of course. But this is the season when prettily designed books flood the market and compete for female readers. It’s a time when literary and lightweight books aimed at women become hard to tell apart. Their covers use standard imagery: sand, flowers, cake, feet, houses, pastel colors, the occasional Adirondack chair. Their titles (“Summer House,” “Dune Road,” “The Wedding Girl,” “Trouble”) skew generic. And they tend to be blurbed exclusively by women.

- Janet Maslin, New York Times.

Read the rest of the reviews here.

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