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Pickle Me This

April 17, 2006


Today Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld arrived at the library. I’m excited to read it. Sittenfeld’s provocative review of Melissa Bank’s The Wonder Spot incited a bit of controversy last year. In the review, Sittenfeld posited that “To suggest that another woman’s ostensibly literary novel is chick lit feels catty, not unlike calling another woman a slut”, but of course she did it anyway. Writer Jennifer Weiner suggested that perhaps Sittenfeld’s insecurities about the reception of her own novel were the motivation behind her name calling. And indeed, Curtis Sittenfeld did seem to be kicking and screaming about the “chick lit” label. In every interview I read, every review of the book, Sittenfeld was commenting upon Prep’s “darkness”, that it was “not a beach read”, “too dark for chick lit”, in spite of the pink-accessory-adorned cover. I do understand Sittenfeld’s pain of course; that pink belt must have come on like a punch in the gut. But it seemed like that lady did protest a bit too much. And so now I’ve got the book in hand and will determine for myself whether it’s “chick lit” or not. All for the sake of scholarship. I’ve got one paper down and one more to go. Now reading The Photograph by the ever-wonderful Penelope Lively. Oh, and good news in tax return land. So we’re off to England in September! Moreover, we’ve got a little England heading our way tomorrow in the form of Stuart’s mum!

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