Ana Lima Lima từ Maloke, Pakistan
I chose This Is Not Chick Lit for book club because we don't usually pick anthologies, and I wanted us to read some contemporary women authors. I was also curious to see if the whole "chick lit" thing would provoke discussion. Indeed, a lively discussion was had. Most of us felt that although chick lit may not be high literature, it has its place and shouldn't be relegated to the Harlequin romance section, and that chick lit, as a genre, offers more than its stereotype. We also discussed the anti-chick-lit chick-lit cover. High points in the anthology: "Volunteers are Shining Stars," Curtis Sittenfeld's exploration of the fine line between crazy and not crazy; Jennifer Egan's "Selling the General," in which a Central American dictator gets a PR makeover; Judy Budnitz's "Jean, Jeanne, La Pucelle, Maid of Orleans," wherein Joan of Arc's crusade is captured by a reality television crew; and Roxana Robinson's "Embrace," the tale of an evolving marriage forced to endure tragedy. Overall, I give high marks to This Is Not Chick Lit. As with any anthology it contains some stinkers, but there are also some thought-provoking stories.