A Gent's Outlook

A Literary Agent Divulges the TRUTH about Publishing

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Fall of the Empire, Chick-Lit Part Deux

This just in: I found a news article proclaiming that archeologists have discovered at Pompeii an ancient chick-lit novel. That explains the fall of the Empire. I bet the fire at the library in Alexandria had nothing to do with a raging battle—the old librarians probably found a chick-lit novel and set it ablaze under the cover of war. Civilization as we know it survived only because of their efforts. God, I love librarians.

Chick-lit represents our miserable cultural malfunction wherein everyone can’t see past their own problems (don’t you know it’s all about me?). You know, I had an agent friend tell me a few years ago that she was disappointed at the new types of novels (stay with me here, clueless, she meant chick-lit) that were creeping in under the guise of being more sophisticated and sexy romance-type reads. She basically thought they were books by hacks who didn’t have much control of their writing and that they were targeted toward women who had laughed at their mothers for reading trashy love novels—snotty ingrates. The publishers have been laughing all the way to the bank by repackaging rejected, poorly written romances—just like mama used to ignore--and renaming them with a cool moniker that would attract the vacuous generation who would find it entertaining that some dingy (sorry, I meant quirky) broad can’t find a man because she is too empowered, yet vulnerable at the same time. How about because she is a dipshit?

Let me ask you, what is wrong with being single? Why do all the singles of any gender have to hang out in group therapy-type three or foursomes like some loathsome Sex in the City knock-offs, traveling in packs? I see these huddled, befuddled masses wandering through our fair city all the time. Why do we angst about being alone so goddamn much? You know when you should worry about being alone? When you are in a situation where you are elderly, sick and forgotten by society, and then a hurricane comes and you have two choices: evacuate from the only safety you have ever known, knowing that most of your needs will not be met and you will be scared, frightened and forgotten among a large group of strangers who could hurt you, or stay where at least you have felt safe in the past and risk getting blown away. When you’re facing dogpaddling in fetid floodwaters up to your craggy neck for days on end, unable to get to food or medicine or clean water, that’s when you should worry about being by yourself. Until then, fucking deal with it and quit whining. Or call my 1-800 number.

I know smart women who are offended by these books. I know kind women who volunteer to help others who think the characters need to grow up (and so do the chicky editors who identify with these screw-up protagonists and acquire this shit thinking that’s how EVERYBODY lives). I know sexy women who smirk at these misfits who don’t know what to do with the gifts God gave them (and if you don’t know what that means, ask a breast cancer survivor)—they always want more, bigger, or better instead of biding their time for the right schmuckaroo to come along to pay for the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. Yeah, I know what you are thinking, and yes, I do know lots of women. I also know writers who can write much better who have been bumped from publisher’s lists (not mine, by God) because their space on the bookshelves is taken up by this pitiful British invasion. Hell, the British don’t even want it anymore! They passed it off to us! They started it there and let it spread like a disease across the ocean. Wanna know what I think? I think it’s cleverly disguised revenge for the American Revolution—it started with the Beatles and the Animals, and they just keep lobbing more inane shit our way. Thanks, Tony B., we all love you, too.

May your wickershires dredge a podgethacket in your cornswaggled wildebeast, you %$& basketsnatchers.


  • At 4:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    At the risk of offending the writing sisterhood, I like your style.


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