Notes. Sami Boulant. Question 1: How do Chic Lit authors hook and hold readers?.
authors hook and hold readers?
Chic Lit authors hook and hold readers by making the protagonist of the novel and their surroundings seem enticing. By offering many different styles of Chic Lit, the novels can be enjoyed by all readers. For readers who enjoy reading classic novels, they can choose to read classic Chic Lit, including "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by Truman Capote, or "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen. For readers who enjoy reading books that contain characters who discover themselves during the novels, self-discovery Chic Lit may be their choice, including "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult, or "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd. Historical Fiction Chic Lit is also a style that some readers may wish to read. In these Chic Lit novels, stories about women in history who went against what is thought of them, are told, like in "Gone With the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell, and "Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden. Some Chic Lit novels are written to present current day troubles readers face, which are called Social Commentary Chic Lit, and include the novels "Good in Bed" by Jennifer Weiner, and "Baby Proof" by Emily Giffin.
Another style of Chic Lit that hook readers who may not want to read these other styles of Chic Lit, is called Pop Culture Phenomena. These Chic Lit novels are also movies and may be of interest to people who love romantic comedy movies. "The Devil Wears Prada" by Lauren Weisberger, and "Gossip Girl" by Cecily von Ziegesar are examples of Pop Culture Phenomena Chic Lit ("50 Chick Lit Novels"). Once authors have hooked readers in by the different styles of Chic Lit novels they can choose from to read, readers are held and continue reading the novels, because the authors present real life situations in the Chic Lit novels that hook readers and make them want to keep reading so they can discover how the situations are solved, and then the novels hold the readers by presenting the hook of having readers want to know how the characters solve their problems that are relatable to many readers. Chic Lit is written to put readers into better moods ("50 Chick Lit Novels") because of the light humor and free, living a good life in the city, lifestyles. Chic Lit can be a helpful assistant in solving your own life problems, or can just be an entertaining novel to read to get your mind off of struggles you may be facing in your own life ("50 Chick Lit Novels").
Question 1: How do Chic Lit authors (Continued)
hook and hold readers? (Continued)
By having different types of Chic Lit about culturized nationalities as well, readers can find the type of Chic Lit that relates most to them. African American women can choose to read Black Chic Lit, women of the Chinese culture can choose to read Asian Chic Lit, women from India can choose to read Indian Chic Lit, and American women can choose to read American Chic Lit. Although, the different cultured Chic Lit is not limited to just readers of that culture because the main theme of all Chic Lit is generally the same, which is how the authors hold readers to keep reading the novels; Chic Lit presents a glamorous lifestyle that is desirable to women and creates real life situations that make readers feel more comfortable about their own struggles. The genre of Chic Lit also hooks readers in by creating illusions that being a woman in her twenties or thirties and being independent, having a steady career and income, and being beautiful is the most enchanting way to live (Donadio). The inclusion of music, shopping, and big cities in Chic Lit novels creates the hold that makes readers want to keep reading, mainly because of their desire to have a life comparative to the protagonist's life in the novel. Learning about ways to deal with relationships is another hold authors create in Chic Lit to make women readers want to improve how they handle relationships in their own lives as well.
The relationship between Chic Lit and truth is very parallel because whether women are characters in a novel, or are women in real life, their emotions are all very similar. Chic Lit novels are written to show the truth of women's emotions, as well as act as therapy to women to help them solve uneasy feelings they may have, because of the realness that exists in Chic Lit literature. When women read novels about other women and see how those characters handle conflicts, relatable issues are likely to arise, which can help the women figure out ways that will provide solutions for their issues that are similar to those that occur in the novels. In Indian Chic Lit, Indian women are in search of the place they belong in the society, and they struggle with fitting in. This is similar to how many women of other nationalities may feel when they live in America and are in a country they did not originate from. The genre of Chic Lit shows truthfully how Indian women try to live lives of American women all while staying true to their own culture which whether or not is written in a novel, would be a struggle for any woman. "This exploration examines the Indian heroine’s struggle with her cultural identity in the conflicts that construct the chick-lit form, such as the love conflict, the work conflict, the maturity conflict, and the beauty conflict; the obsessive consumption of goods; and the identification with the homeland" (Barber 5).
Question 3: What is the relationship between Chic Lit and truth? (Continued)
In Eastern Europe. Chic Lit shows how times have changed for women. In the past it would not be heard of for women to live single and on their own, but now Chic Lit has shown readers that in today's world that is just what is happening. "In "The Diary of Luisa Lozhkina," a young single mother in Moscow rents out apartments on the sly for cash, frets about cellulite and dreams of finding Mr. Right" (Donadio). This is true of women all around the world now a days; getting pregnant, having a baby, being a single mother, and having to make money and provide for her baby all on her own. Chic Lit was just one way people in Eastern Europe had this pointed out to them.
Question 4: truth? (Continued)What truths are best communicated through the Chic Lit genre?
The truths that are best communicated through the Chic Lit genre are, how women in today's society tend to fell self-conscious about their appearance including weight and clothing fashions. It portrays everyday stress women experience in their lives and shows how they deal with this stress and how it reflects upon their jobs and careers, friends, family and romantic relationships (Barber 5). Chic Lit novels bring about situations that are very relative to women's lives, and are very relatable to these readers, therefore causing them to change the way they may handle a situation, or even cause them to change the way they feel about their own lives.
In Black Chic-Lit, as well as in any subtopic of Chic Lit, divorce, separation, and children are all a part of some characters lives (Ogunnaike 3). As a result of divorce, separation, and children, situations that arise from these obstacles are both experienced in literature and in reality, therefore demonstrating accurate life conflicts in the genre of Chic Lit. Black Chic-Lit also shows how the lives of women consist of more then just crimes and sex (Ogunnaike 4). Many people may think that women who live in big cities like Manhattan, just like to go out and have a good time at clubs and parties, but Chic Lit gives naive readers deeper insight into the lives of women, including their careers and family relationships that consume most of the women's time. This genre shows how partying is only done by some women, and when it is done, it is only one factor of their busy lives.
Chic Lit may change reader's thoughts on life and relationships by making them feel like the emotions they are feeling are natural, understandable and acceptable because the characters in the Chic Lit novels are feeling the same emotions as well. Women's insecurities about their weight and appearance are demonstrated through this genre, which give women a sense of comfort when knowing that they are feeling similar emotions as many other women in the world. This connection between reader and character acts similar to therapy for women and causes them to figure out how to work out their problems and gain confidence by knowing they are not alone in their feeling of these emotions (Barber 9). This helps women change their views of themselves and be more willing to accept other people because of their own self-acceptance.
In Polish Chic Lit, when readers interpret the hard situations some Polish women experience, elements of life that really matter shine through to the reader's eyes and make conflicts they may be dealing with in their own lives not seem so horrible. Elements of rape and murder that are included in some Polish Chic Lit (Donadio), can level out women's emotions and make them realize that other people in the world are dealing with much worse situations then they are. In Indian Chic Lit, pressures women face of not being accepted into society, or having to choose their identity and possibly change themselves from the culture they were born to be (Barber 10), women who feel like they do not belong in society can realize, that is only a thought in their own mind and not a realistic one; some women in the world are actually struggling with their identity and having to possibly go against their own culture.
Authors of Chic Lit draw in their readers' attention, by making the protagonist, the main character in the novel, seem stylish, have great careers, and live in fabulous cities (Stepic). The Chic Lit authors create situations that are relatable for most readers, and create conflicts that usually are solved. The glamorous, yet easily relatable lifestyle draws in readers' attention and makes them want to learn how other people go about solving their problems. This can help readers figure out the meanings of their own problems, and ways they may be able to solve them. This genre may give readers hope because the single girls in this genre usually find their true love by the conclusion of the novel and have a happy ending. This causes readers to gain a sense of hope that this love and happiness is attainable in their own lives. The genre of Chic Lit gives readers light humor, feistiness, and romance all in one novel (Glasburgh 3), where romance novels are more heavy, focus mostly on relationships, and focus less on careers and women's places in society.
In Black Chic Lit and Indian Chic Lit, African American and Indian women are drawn in to the novels through the novel's description of telling readers that society accepts many different kinds of women. When women in America do not feel like they belong in society, like some African American or Indian women may feel, the novels written in the genre of Chic Lit show these women that all types of people are accepted, all women in the world are feeling similar emotions as they are, and that career opportunities are open for anyone no matter what race they are. "Furthermore, chick-literature depicts the stress that female protagonists feel to be thin, beautiful, and trendy, but it shows all of these problems with a tone that is lighthearted and at times comical" (Barber 5). Women want to learn how to laugh at themselves for the insecurities they feel, and learn how to make light of struggles they may be facing.
In Black Chic Lit, the struggles that women of color face are emphasized, as well as their searches for love and making their lives worth while. As 34 year old Lyah Beth LeFlore, a television producer and co-author of ''Cosmopolitan Girls'', a Black Chic-Lit novel, stated, ''There are a lot of amazing black women living interesting, glamorous lives, and it was time our stories be told.'' The glitzy lifestyles of stylish African American women living in flashy cities appeal to many women because it portrays confident, professional, and strong African American women that conquer tasks put before them, and shows how they balance work and relationships (Ogunnaike 1). This pulls in the attention of women by showing them that it is possible to have both, your dream job, and great relationships. Even though Black Chic-Lit is based on the lives of African American women, women of other races are also hoped to be drawn in by this genre (Ogunnaike 1), because of the light and humorous writing style, and charming ways of life of the characters in the novels.
American Chic Lit only differs from Chic Lit written in other parts of the world slightly. For the most part, women tend to have the same emotions and insecurities that they worry about. No matter where you are, women are usually very similar. In American Chic Lit, the main insecurities women may face and struggle with are, their weight and appearance, their career or jobs they may have, how beautiful they are and the acceptance they hope to receive, and relationships they desire for, or are struggling with.
A different type of Chic Lit, called Indian Chic-Lit also portrays women in similar ways, but the main securities of these women are their struggles of fitting into American society and the society they originate from, the emotions they feel and the desire they have to belong, and the desire to find a husband (Barber 5,6). Black Chic Lit is also very similar to American Chic Lit, and Indian Chic Lit.
In Black Chic Lit, the protagonist worries mostly about jobs they wish they had, and their lack of love. This style of Chic Lit adds a sense of humor intended to lighten up reader's seriousness about their struggles. ''We need to be able to laugh at ourselves'' (Ogunnaike 2). Relative to the feelings of protagonists in Indian Chic Lit of not belonging in society, women in Black Chic Lit also have this desire to fit in to society and be accepted.
Chic Lit written in Poland is also similar to these other Chic Lit cultures, but is more heavy and intense and focuses less on beauty and careers. This type of Chic Lit focuses more on relationships and includes disasters that may occur like kidnaps or rapes, as well as distorted thinking that some women may experience, including suicide or anorexia (Donadio). This does however relate to how some American, Indian, or African American women may think, and can also be a component of these types of Chic Lit, but is more prominent in the Polish Chic Lit.