Currently Reading: This Is Not Chick Lit
This Is Not Chick Lit: Original Stories by America’s Best Women Writers, edited by Elizabeth Merrick, has been sitting sadly in my bookshelf for more than a year before I finally picked it up.
I’m thankful I brought it along on a media coverage and that I finally read it (an ex sent it to me on my birthday last year) because reading it inspired me to write, not another chick lit, but something more meaty, serious, and thought-provoking.
One of the stories I distinctly remember from this selection is “Selling the General” by Jennifer Egan, because it’s a storyline I can relate with. The female character, Dolly, runs a PR agency and is offered a hefty amount to do crisis PR for a South American dictator whose government had slaughtered masses. I loved the snappy dialogue, and while its New York setting and allusion to brand names and private schools for girls might mislead you into thinking this is part of the Gossip Girl series, it’s not.
(Did I mention that I was once a publicist for a former defense secretary? I lasted a little more than a month–not because I didn’t like him. I’ve sworn not to get involved with politics ever.)
The names of the authors don’t ring a bell, but what they’re doing–going out there to give readers something better– is admirable. As editor Elizabeth Merrick writes in her introduction, these are “female writers pushing the envelope of serious writing with depth and humor.” I’ve never written a short story before, but after reading this book, I think I’d like to try my hand at it.