Some questions on a Friday

Some questions I have been posing over on the ol’ twitter as of late and wish to ask in a more extended manner:

1. Does anyone have any recommendations, or know of, any work that would/could be categorised as ‘chick lit’ while also dealing with a heroine or supporting character’s chronic illness? Not something like cancer (which does feature in quite a number of books) where there’s room for either a tragic death or an improvement in one’s condition, or mental/psychological issues like addiction or depression which can involve definite ‘improvements’? I’ve been thinking about the genre and the way in which so much of it is a kind of coming-of-age or discovering of identity, but it strikes me that while chronic illness issues do turn up in kids’ and teen fiction, they appear less so in ‘chick lit’ novels. Maybe it’s because certain kinds of illness instantly mark out a book as ‘too serious to be chick lit’? I’m also surprised that chronic conditions specific to women, like endometriosis, don’t turn up more often, but again, it’s a wide genre and there may in fact be plenty of books out there dealing with various conditions! Any thoughts?

2. A shorter query: anyone know of any academic/critical works which focus on The Babysitters Club series? There’s a book called ‘Sisters, Schoolgirls and Sleuths’ which looks at girls’ series fiction but in a broad way – am just curious.

3. What’s your favourite fairytale adaptation? (Okay, mostly I just love fairytales. But they seem to be more fun to twist and warp than simply tell.)

About clairehennessy

Writer (mostly YA fiction), creative writing teacher, tea drinker, book junkie. View all posts by clairehennessy

7 responses to “Some questions on a Friday

  • Laura Cassidy

    Have you seen Love and Other Drugs Claire? Thought that was a nice example of chronic illness (Parkinson’s) being dealt with well in a rom-com. Have get to read a chick-lit along the same lines though.

    • clairehennessy

      Oh yes! Great film but heartbreaking at parts. And there’s that bit where the other guy’s talking about how he wouldn’t do it again, that grim realism mixed in with the romance and humour of it. Would be interesting to see something along those lines in a novel…

  • emordino

    Angela Carter does cracking fairytales. “Puss in Boots” and “The Company of Wolves” are favourites (she did a film of the latter with I think Neil Jordan, but I aten’t seen it yet).

  • Emily

    My favourite fairy tale adaptation, no questions about it, is The Company of Wolves. It’s a film, not a book, but it’s based on Angela Carter’s short story of the same title. There’s a rather distinct 80s vibe to the whole thing, and the acting can be a little weird, but it’s got all kinds of Freudian imagery and coming-of-age themes, and is a really great feminist twist on the Little Red Riding Hood story. So much love!

    • clairehennessy

      Another rec for The Company of Wolves. I will have to check out both story and film despite the 80s vibe. 😉

      Catherine Orenstein has this great book, ‘Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked’, which looks at various interpretations of the Red Riding Hood story – very interesting stuff!

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