Ladies of the Page

Chick Lit and its creators come to local readers

Fashion. Style. Emotion. Female empowerment? That's right. Move over, Steinem, Sex and the City mastermind Candace Bushnell has re-charted the women's movement, and we're taking our Manolos and flat irons along for the ride. And thank goodness for the shift--repressed femininity is a witch. Bushnell's latest work, Lipstick Jungle, is one of the latest in the fast-growing genre known as glam lit (a subset of the very popular chick lit).

Pronounced like the Mexican gum, chick lit is described as appealing to empowered women. And "empowered" doesn't mean you don't want to get married, you don't want to have kids and you can't cry. "What it does mean," says True Hollywood Lies author Josie Brown, "is that what's important to women are relationships, jobs, life, love." OK, yeah, that's all well and good, but the truth of the matter is women also like to gossip. We're obsessed with celebrity and delight in its scandals. Just admit it, ladies, the entertainment industry has us snowed big-time. People magazine is thanking us all the way to the bank. And chick lit and glam lit give us great big doses of the good stuff we love.

That's why Josie Brown created "Fictionista: The Chick Lit Book Tour," bringing together a group of chick lit authors from around the country to showcase their work. "We write about bitches and divas," Brown says, "but none of us are. Writing is such a lonely profession; we have to be there for each other." Chick lit author Julie Kenner says that "focused, driven" women are at the backbone of this genre. "And you see their characters in the writers themselves," she says. The heroine in her book, Carpe Demon, Adventures of a Demon-hunting Soccer Mom, is a lot like Julie in that after leaving her high-powered career as a demon-hunter, yes, a demon-hunter (Julie was a lawyer), she becomes a stay-at-home mom and learns that demons don't only exist on the dark side.

Brown, Kenner and Shane Bolks (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Men I've Dated), are touring to celebrate "wine, women and some well-chosen words." "We're very supportive of each other," Kenner says. When asked why she decided to tour with other chick lit authors, Brown says it's simple: A "higher tide raises all ships." Now that's girl power.

 
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