Our next 20/21 session will be on next Thursday 29th April 2021 from 17:30-19:00, so save the date in your calendars! It will be on: Contemporary Chick Lit & Feminism. RSVP via:
This month, the Romance Reading Group will be dissecting the genre of chick lit by comparing a foregrounded chick lit text (Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’ Diary (1996)) with two newer chick lit novels (Ayisha Malik’s Sofia Khan is Not Obliged (2015) and Candice Carty-Williams’ Queenie (2019)), asking questions such as: What is chick lit? Is the term itself controversial or a reclamation? How does the genre connect to romance? Is an intimate relationship crucial to the plot? Are they feminist works, or do they encompass a sense of feminist ideology?
Celebrated and marketed as a ‘Muslim Bridget Jones’, Sofia Khan is Not Obliged can be argued as a ‘reworking’ of classic chick lit text, Bridget Jones’ Diary. So we ask the following question: to what extent is this technique a way of diversifying the genre of chick lit? Furthermore, Queenie has been frequently billed as ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary meets Americanah’ and praised for being an inspirational, funny and, at times, dark exploration of Black womanhood, though this text is rarely deemed as chick lit. Why do you think that is? Does chick lit still exist? Has the genre changed, or just been reframed as ‘contemporary women’s fiction’? By making the texts more ‘feminist’, have new authors strayed away from defining their fiction as “chick lit”? Is identifying themselves in alignment with other ‘chick lit’ texts – like Bridget Jones Diary – a way of implying that they are, in a way, chick lit, but do not want to be known in this way?
Hope to see you on 29th!