Daily Dish

Musings, ramblings, and miscellaneous writer neuroses of RITA award-winning comedy and New York Times bestselling author Alesia Holliday.

Wednesday, June 8


At first I thought, Well, this is a blog called Daily Dish. So I should keep it light and fluffy and stay away from controversy. But, then I said to myself, Do you KNOW me?? I've been a rabble rouser since I was two and learned to talk.

The latest storm of controversy in the writing world concerns that not-so-very-lovely phenomenon of the self-proclaimed literary writer hurling derogatory insults at those of us who write what the publishers like to call "chick lit." It's rude, it's offensive, and just last year I wrote a long letter to UTNE READER, blasting an article that reiterated the same, tired arguments that we poor girls have brains that are too soaked in cosmos to know our own minds. We need to be protected from such silly, entertaining books, don't you know? They're the downfall of post-modern feminism. To my utter shock (and UTNE's credit), they even published an abbreviated version my letter. (The full blasted both the literary credentials AND the blatant sexism of the article's author.)

Over at the new blog,
The Lipstick Chronicles, written by four terrifically talented authors in the mystery field, Susan McBride, Sarah Strohmeyer, Harley Jane Kozak, and Nancy Martin, (all of whom have been tagged with the term "mystery chick" at some point), Nancy wrote a very down-to-earth post about Curtis Sittenfeld's obnoxious review in the NY Times of THE WONDER SPOT by Melissa Bank.

What Sittenfeld said: Referring to a book as chick lit is "not unlike calling another woman a slut."

Now, let's consider this. Ms. Sittenfeld's book, as you will recall, uses a come-hither pink and green cover to entice readers to pick up a book about a prep school girl giving blow jobs.

Certainly there is more to the book. However -- having just been, in effect, called a slut myself by implication -- I am in no mood to be charitable. Jennifer Weiner wrote a scathing commentary on Ms. Sittenfeld's review, complete with her "translations"
here. (Did I mention I adore Jennifer Weiner?)

This all reminds me in a hideously unpleasant way of the "working Mom v. stay-at-home Mom" controversy. Women squared off against each other, while men laughed from the sidelines at the lack of cohesion or mutual support between members of the "weaker sex." And, hey, in the literary sense, HERE WE FREAKING GO AGAIN. Yahoo for the male novelists whose work is being reviewed in far greater numbers than our own -- they, as well as all of the vast numbers of unpublished writers who would kill to be among our ranks, can watch while we attack each other and pick the bones clean.

A slut? Not so much. I'm sticking with Jen Weiner. I'm getting a t-shirt made that says

Alesia, controversial and proud of it