I must quibble with Elizabeth Merrick’s Huffington Post article, which states this point:
But one more realist, formulaic novel about a girl in a low-level media job shopping for a man? Exactly how does that lift our spirits the same way an elaborately choreographed musical number with headdresses and a fountain can?
A formulaic chick lit title may be trite, but I’m pretty certain that it can lift one’s spirits better than a book which leaves the reader exhausted. Here’s the question I put forth to Ms. Merrick: Without taking away the literary merits of hard fiction, how does a gloomy novel which leaves one depressed and, in manic cases, suicidal lift one’s spirits? Maybe Merrick has an odd reader reaction when she finishes up a book (in which case, kudos to her), but, as much as I love Mary Gaitskill’s Veronica, I think it can be safely said that one’s spirits aren’t lifted at all when reading a sad tale about a dying woman whose life is falling apart. Unless, of course, you’re the kind of person who categorizes The Killing Fields as a great comedy classic.
© 2006, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.