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This Is Chick-lit Paperback – August 11, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Defending the much-maligned genre, recently dealt a slap with the Elizabeth Merrick-edited collection This is Not Chick Lit, author and former PW reviewer Baratz-Logsted has produced a comeback anthology that asks, "Are women really criticizing each other about what they're reading?" Though they may be, the ensuing conversation is producing grist for hungry authors. This round up of 18 chick lit tales offers plenty of enthusiasm and creativity, but suffers in the inevitable comparison to This is Not. The authors here, including Jennifer Coburn, Gena Showalter, Karin Gillespie, Johanna Edwards and Rachel Pine, have produced undeniably lively, inventive stories that pair expected elements (jerk ex-boyfriends, jealous girlfriends, insecure spinsters, unruly toddlers and demanding mothers) alongside spies, ghosts, futuristic dating databases, third eyes and house-size pumpkins. Authors also get to cheer on their genre in notes that follow each story; "I loved Chick-Lit before Chick Lit was even a genre," gushes Cara Lockwood at the conclusion of "The Commitment Phobe," a story about a relationship in which "either he will marry her, or she will kill him." Unfortunately, the stories are by and large marred with ho-hum dialogue, clichéd characters and unpolished endings, ultimately working to reinforce claims that chick lit trades smarts and craftsmanship for easy laughs and themes that pander to female audiences. Enjoyable and eager, this will please fans who took umbrage at the Merrick gang's salvo, but probably won't win any converts.
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From Booklist

Although chick lit is immensely popular with readers, it is largely ignored by literary critics and maligned by more serious female authors, such as contributors to This Is Not Chick-Lit, a forthcoming short story collection. Chick-lit authors fight back with this collection of stories by women writers proud to wear the chick-lit label. In her introduction, Baratz-Logsted [see page 46 for her most recent novel] explains that she invited chick-lit authors to prove how varied, insightful, and, yes, entertaining the genre can be. Each author prefaces her story with her own personal defense of chick lit, and the collection ends with a bibliography of titles outside the genre these authors recommend. For the most part, the anthology succeeds at showing the diverse range of authors, characters, and plots that now fall under the chick-lit umbrella, including a surreal tale about a woman who goes in for a simple medical treatment and comes out with a third eye, and a poignant story about a young mother's fantasies after her twins' birth. Chick-lit devotees will appreciate discovering new authors, and the uninitiated will be pleasantly surprised. Aleksandra Kostovski
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: BenBella Books; First Edition, First Printing edition (August 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933771011
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933771014
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,560,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
There are few sub-genres, if any, more suited to the short story format than chick-lit as this superb anthology proves. Each of the eighteen entries are fun with no duds as female protagonists struggle with everyday relationships while providing "wisdom" in asides to the audience. All the tales are new having been written in 2005 and as far as this reviewer knows never published before. How can fans not enjoy tales like "Secret Agent Chick" starring a woman who enjoys girl fights or the satirical "How To Be a Millionaire". Fans of the sub-genre will appreciate this entertaining anthology that is unabashedly pleasant reading as each entry showcases the sub-genre at its strongest. To be honest, I believe this is the format (more so than the novel) where chick-lit is at its best; where one finds humor, jabs, irony and satire like a woman dreaming of becoming a pumpkin wife in a "Shell Game". Ladies - you have done a great job with THIS IS CHICK-LIT anthology that requires no further defense of the maligned sub-genre because of the contributions.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Brown on October 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
I agree with many of the other reviewers: If you already read chick lit, you'll like this. It provides a selection of interesting stories, lets you get to know a little about the authors, and may introduce you to the work of authors you don't already know.

If you don't read chick lit, or don't think you want to, you'll be pleasantly surprised, I think. It's a quick read, and it can't hurt, so why not?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Käthe on August 28, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For anyone who didn't know that Chick Lit was still Lit, that writing by, about, and for women, could hold it's own, Lauren Baratz-Logsted has put together an anthology of fabulous and diverse writing. The stories are uniformly excellent, they're entertaining, thought-provoking, and always well-written. There's even a list of Literary works suggested for those who love Chick Lit.

None of these writers is apologetic, and none is denying their Chick Lit label. These women are valuing that label and those readers, and thanking us for the honor. This isn't some sort of literary cat fight, either. These writers themselves read widely, and are capable of appreciating Literary efforts, even if reviewers don't.

Settle in and sample the varied delights. "Cafe con Leche Crush" by Heather Swain looks at being a new mother in a different way. "Meeting Cute" by Andrea Schicke Hirsch takes a modern convention and shows the dark side. "The Ring" by Rachel Pine is sad, while "Shell Game" by Lauren Baratz-Logsted is both funny and fierce.

Really, they're all great. Buy a copy for yourself, and at least one to give away. You'll be passing it on, I promise.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joanne Rendell on September 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
It's time to get mad, make a stand, and buy a copy of This is Chick Lit

Earlier this year, This is Not Chick Lit: Original Stories by America's Best Women Writer's hit the stands. As the title suggests, this book wants to set itself apart from chick lit writing. In the introduction, editor Elizabeth Merrick claims that the huge popularity of "bubbly" and "fluffy" chick lit novels is obscuring the writing of "some our country's most gifted women." She goes on to say that chick lit "numbs our senses" and "reduces the complexity of human experience."

When Lauren Baratz-Logsted, a seasoned chick lit author, heard about this collection she got angry. And then she got motivated! Baratz-Logsted without delay rallied the troops, quickly compiled eighteen stories by loud and proud chick lit writers, and This is Chick Lit was born.

Straight off the bat, the book proves that chick lit and its authors are far from mind-numbing or fluffy. In her fantastic introduction, Baratz-Logsted hits the nail on the head when she considers the publication of Merrick's This is Not Chick Lit and wonders, "What next: These Are Not Mysteries? This is Not Science Fiction? This is Not a Literary Coming of Age Novel?"

What Baratz-Logsted understands - unlike so many literary critics, book reviewers, and many supposedly smart writers - is that chick lit is a genre. And thus like all genres - mystery, sci-fi, literary fiction - chick lit has its own features and style and concerns. It is not better or worse than any other genre, it is just different. Baratz-Logsted demonstrates how it is basically sexist to single out chick lit, a hugely popular genre by and for women, as the one genre to attack and malign.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Debra Morse on September 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
Apparently this book was born out of a sense of high dudgeon; a retort to the publication of the volume This is Not Chick-Lit; an assemblage of the leading authors of the centuries old genre now going by the name chick-lit; a defensive call to arms. As contributing writer Jennifer Coburn exclaims: "an author recently commented that the term chick-lit sounds as if the writing is about, for, and by women, nothing more. Nothing more?! Why isn't that enough?"

Enough, indeed. This savvy little collection of eighteen short, delicious stories showcases the tremendous variety, voice, and appeal of the oft-maligned, but also well-loved chick-lit authors. It should quickly disabuse the reader of any notion that chick-lit is somehow not representative or worthy of today's reader of popular fiction. So although the origin of this book may be found in a fit of pique, the result is a marvelous assortment of tales of the modern situation. Can we state more (or less?) of Jane Austen? If the Bronte sisters were writing today, would they be doing book tours on the Bridget Jones circuit? Would Mary Shelley be signing at ComicCon?

Always entertaining, frequently funny, occasionally wistful, this is the cream of the crop. Infidelity, fashion sense, husband hunting, girlfriend trauma: it's all here in this candybox sampler of morality tales, fables, and small encouragements. Dig in.
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