How Recession Could Kill Chick Lit

Fluffy novels 'must respond to a more sober age'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 11, 2009 2:27 PM CDT
Sophie Kinsella's chick-lit novel "Confessions of a Shopaholic."   (Amazon)
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(Newser) – The world of chick lit is populated with material concerns and hefty price tags—but in today’s battered economy, such themes may no longer resonate, writes author Sarah Bilston for DoubleX. Her latest book's “cheery consumerism and aimless career-dithering were clearly out of touch in a world of mortgage defaulting, pink slips, and repossessed homes.” The UK version was already on shelves, but not so the US edition: So "in a single mad month I slashed and burned," as other writers must for the genre to survive.

“Rereading my novel in its pretty purple-and-blue 2008 UK cover, I knew I had to save it from its casual pre-recession excess,” Bilston notes. Chats about yachts were dropped in favor of characters “nervously joking about their pallid 401(k)s while jostling to show they saw the crash coming.” “Financial uncertainty”—long a novelistic plot-mover—means books about “heroines who must take on the world, not just themselves."