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August 01, 2010

Comments

Tonya

I have yet to read it (have downloaded it to my Kindle, but have a couple books ahead of it I want to read). I did note that on Twitter, Terry McMillan took issue with it. It would be interesting to hear her expanded take on it, and I suspect it might have something to do with the dialect.

jude

steve wants to read it, just sayin'

Susan

I have it on hold at the library.

nina

Well, I've never even heard of it until now, so just call me cavewoman. And "chick lit" is a term often used to dismiss any book written by a woman about women. It's an ugly, sexist phrase, and I hate it.

Kelly

I thought *I* was the only one left. My mother has even read it. Glad to hear it was worth the read.

nancy

I am now not alone in not having read it - phew! It is on my reading list.

Katy

So many of the books that are lauded as must-reads for their literary qualities are bleak, depressing and full of despair. While I love Toni Morrison and Proulx, I feel drained after reading some of their work.

I agree that chick lit is a disparaging term attributed to women writers targeting women readers, and it's unfortunate. Writers like Barbara Kingsolver, Karen Joy Fowler and others have been burdened with the chick lit moniker, but they write beautiful stories which resonate with me while still having mostly happy endings. For me, books are an escape from the grim truths of the real world, so I savor the happiness of many so-called chick lit stories. Looking forward to reading The Help! I'd welcome similar recommendations!

Karen

Nina, I think of "chick lit" as a term that denotes any fluffy, non-intellectual bit of drivel that the marketing department at a publishing house assumes will appeal to all women just because its main character is a woman, or its author is a woman, or it's a romance -- preferably all three. I'd be surprised (and disappointed) to hear of any "real" literature by and for women that goes by the label of "chick lit."

This whole past year I seemed unable to turn around without having someone tell me to read "The Help" or hearing/reading an interview with Stockett -- I'm surprised it flew under your radar!

Sharon

I too thought that it wasn't great literature but she did a great job telling her story and giving readers a real sense of life during those troubled times. Definitely worth reading.

Elena

It definitely doesn't qualify as mindless "chick lit" in my book, so to speak. I thought it was a great story. i couldn't put it down. I didn't find the dialect offensive at all, but I'm not black. However, in my opinion, I think it made the black characters seem all the more real.

Stephanie

I guess I live in a cave because I haven't heard of it.

Pat

Hi! Just saw your recent post and the link to your review of The Help, so I wanted to add a couple of little comments.... I got this as a book on CD from my library last June, and during 2 weeks couldn't wait to make my long commute to the office (a rare event, indeed). I thought it was a very compelling read, bringing me some awareness of that time and place much the way the show Mad Men has done for its time and place. I also want to mention that the book on CD is read by 3 different women, which really brings it to life; I highly recommend this format for anyone who hasn't read the book yet. And finally, my husband seemed so interested when I told him about the story that on a whim I picked up the actual book in my local bookstore, handed it to him, and he read it right away and said he liked it very much. So now you know of at least one man who's read it!

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