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CTBF Redux: Anne Taylor Goes In-Depth on Chick Lit vs Women’s Fiction

Tracey Farren, Cynthia Jele, Fiona Snyckers and Rosamund Kendal

At this year’s Cape Town Book Fair, authors Tracey Farren, Cynthia Jele, Fiona Snyckers and Rosamund Kendal were brought together to chat about the difference, if any, between chick lit and women’s fiction. Anne Taylor was there, and covered the event in-depth for Brainwavez:

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For those of you who do not read chick lit, be honest. What are your first impressions when you come across a book classified in this genre? Presumably, you’ll be able to recognise one as it is normally clad in a shocking-pink cover and stamped with an image of a recognisable designer handbag. It could also be embossed with a pair of skinny stilettos and legs that go on forever.

I bet your response is pretty much the same as most other book lovers who have not been seduced by the pastel shades of pink watermelon: that chick lit has little literary value or worth. However, chick lit has a lot more to offer than you might think. At this year’s Cape Town Book Fair author Tracey Farren hosted a panel discussion with three South African writers, Fiona Snyckers, Rosamund Kendal, and Cynthia Jele, to find out how they feel about having their books labelled as chick lit and how they prefer to define their books.

Tracey Farren is the author of Whiplash, published by Modjaji Books. She laughingly told the audience that although it was not her intention, her book “turned out to be a book for women because men are too scared to read it”. Like many other writers who are women, she has found that her work has been relegated to the chick-lit bookshelves. According to Wikipedia, chick lit is a popular genre of fiction that falls within women’s fiction and addresses issues of modern women in a humorous, light-hearted fashion.

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