Saturday, November 24, 2012

Chick lit rants, and another review

Today a friend emailed that the Seward Phoenix Log had posted a review of Dolls Behaving Badly.

I wasn't sure what to expect. Seward is a small Alaska fishing community (about 1,800) at the end of the road system; it isn't exactly known for its literary merits. I know: I used to live in Seward and edit the very same small town newspaper.

Me, sitting at the halfway point of Mt. Marathon and looking down on the town of Seward.

I was refreshingly surprised when I read the review by Wolfgang Kurtz (yes, I think that is his real name) who, according to his bio, is kind of an everyday man, now a small town newspaper editor.

Granted, it doesn't compare to the Kirkus Reviews review in weight or merit, but why should it? It's an honest review from an honest man who honestly admits he doesn't normally read books written by women.

What I like is that he mentioned Erica Jong, Anais Nin and Ayn Rand. In my review!

He referred to them as "chick" writers, hee, hee.

Here, I must digress (and I apologize, Wolfgang, this has nothing to do with your review. Sometimes a woman simply can't, and shouldn't, keep her mouth shut).

Jong, Nin and Rand are women. But they write (and have written) serious works on serious women's issues.

Why is it that when men write books on war and politics, they are highly esteemed. Yet if a woman writes on topics important in her world--birth, body issues, relationships--she risks being lumped as a chick lit writer, you know, just-another-woman-writing-self-involved-women's-topics.

Someday women's bodies, words and experiences will be as highly valued as men's. Someday women will have complete freedom over their reproductive and sexual choices, regardless of religion or location. (Imagine women making laws to determine when, why and how men access their little magical Viagra pills!)

Sorry for the rant. I couldn't help myself. It happens.

I'm totally off the point. My book isn't serious fiction and isn't meant to be. It probably is closer to chick lit than literary fiction. It's mainstream, women mainstream, and I intended it to be as such. It's not as steamy as Jong or Nin, but it has its moments. But still, how heady to see their names listed so close to my own (!!).

So thanks, Wolfgang, for reviewing my book. I appreciate that you took the time to step outside your comfort zone. People so seldom do that anymore. The next time I'm down in Seward, I'll take you out for tea at the Sea Bean. Who knows, maybe Erica Jong will dock off one of the cruise ships and join us. Stranger things have happened.

The full review can be found here.

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