From The Atlantic:
Chick lit—hot pink covers featuring martini glasses and Manolos, stylish city girl heroines navigating the urban jungle in search of love and career—seems to have gone the way of Friends and the dotcom bubble. “A visit to any chain bookstore will testify that its heyday has definitely passed,” says Salon, quoting an editor who says, “We’ve pretty much stopped publishing chick lit.”
“[T]he bloom is off the “chick lit” rose,” agrees The Economist.
Well I have news. Yes, chick lit is dead (or dying, at least). But in its place, we now have a new genre. Call it “farm lit.”
In farm lit books, our heroines ditch the big cities beloved in chick lit—New York, Chicago, LA—in favor of slower, more rural existences, scrappily learning to raise goats on idyllic Vermont farms or healing their broken hearts by opening cupcake bakeries in their sweet Southern hometowns. Instead of sipping $16 appletinis with the girls, they’re mucking out barns and learning to knit. Instead of pining after Mr. Big, they’re falling for the hunky farmer next door.
. . . .
In Australia this new genre is apparently known as “chook lit” (chook is Australian slang for chicken). Down Under, chook lit is “publishing’s latest phenomenon, with rural romances outselling other fiction.”
But even bigger than the novels, it seems, is the farm lit memoir. Call it the “career girl’s gone Green Acres” narrative, it inevitably involves a journalist or other hard-charging type who repairs to the countryside, either to follow a dream or a man, or to escape a calamity (debt, divorce).
. . . .
So many of chick lit’s tropes—stilettos! Fighting for your big break in journalism! Cute i-bankers! The hottest new nightclub in the Meatpacking District!—were part of a boomtime economy. These days, we’re mostly wearing flats, journalism is breathing its last gasps, we’d rather throw i-bankers in jail than date them, and cupcake baking seems a lot more fun (and cheaper!) than clubbing.
Link to the rest at The Atlantic and thanks to Meryl for the tip.