When asked about the snooty attitude towards commercial fiction, Lisa Jewell replied:
“That if you read something in two days, it’s not as good as something which took you two weeks to read.”
[in an interview with ‘The Bookseller’ magazine, April 21, 2017]
I dislike labels which limit our exploration of the novels we choose to read. Genres are cosy, familiar, we know what we are going to get. But what about reading outside your comfort zone?
Jewell talks in this interview with The Bookseller about how she was labelled as a ‘chick lit’ author when she published her first novel, Ralph’s Party. “I will never, ever know if it worked in my favour or not. Unless someone can give me some data and say, ‘If you hadn’t been perceived as chick lit, you’d have sold fewer books,’ then I think, ‘Fine, okay.’” The time for the chick lit label is over, she hopes.
Essentially, genre labels like chick lit are a convenient way for the book trade [publishers and retailers] to categorize novels for management purposes. For example, I dislike the way crime fiction is separated from general fiction on the shelves in bookstores. I like to browse. And who is to say that, with a change of cover design, a supposedly chick lit novel may be picked up by someone who would not normally consider reading it. Perhaps we all need to try something different, we may discover a new, much-loved author, and stop being judgemental about what people are reading and instead be thankful that so many of us enjoying reading books.
If you agree with Lisa Jewell, perhaps you will agree with:-
Sofie Gråbøl – always look for the weak side of a character, for the dark side
Dorothea Brande – isolate the functions of the two sides of the mind
Chris Cleave – more writers need to celebrate new writers
‘Then She Was Gone’ by Lisa Jewell [UK: Century]
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why be snooty? I agree with… @lisajewelluk #amreading via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-2xZ