More on commercial women’s fiction in Britain

In “The Great Chick Lit Racket,” a shorter version of which appeared in the Independent last year, Scarlett Thomas notes that the British chick lit market is in decline, and asks what can be learned from its demise. She argues that the entire genre:

not only misrepresents women in its storylines but exists in a context in which many of its authors are little more than assembly-line workers. As one publisher put it, ‘The ideal commercial fiction author is someone who delivers one book and then goes on to keep writing, well, not exactly the same book again and again, but certainly one that’s very similar.’ Knowing how controversial these realities are, this publisher, like several I talked to for this piece, asked not to be named. The trouble is that no one wants to write production-line fiction, and many authors don’t realise that this is what they are going to be expected to do when they sign their ‘dream’ contract.

(Many thanks to Emma for the link.)

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