"Chick Lit": Female Literature Goes Jewish

by VNN Staff

3 July 2005

Modern Western literature has always been pretty Jewy - at least since about WWII.

But now a new, popular type of Jewish-tinged literature has emerged: so-called "chick lit," meaning "chick literature," or light, airy novels written by women, for women and featuring young, female characters as heroines. Those heroines are usually trying to balance careers and romances in big, liberal cities (apparently, it's tough being a young career-gal these days).

Chick lit emerged in the 1990s and has grown very quickly since. Some of the genre's books have even been made into major motion pictures, for example "Bridget Jones' Diary."

How popular is chick lit? So popular that there are dozens of websites and webpages devoted to it, and dozens of female authors who are considered to be chick lit authors. Interestingly, many chick lit authors hail from England.

As you have probably guessed already, the chick lit genre is full of Jewish authors. Not only that, but the authors' novels frequently have central characters who are...also Jewish. Oy - Jew-times-two! Pass the bagels.

Feminism, liberalism and steamy (and graphic) sex are standard in most chick lit novels. And some of the books could actually be described as vulgar or obscene.

Are these novels really what nice gentile girls from Iowa should be reading? Oy vey.

Let's take a look at some of the Jewish chick lit authors:

- Lauren Weisberger (a blonde-haired Jew; her novel The Devil Wears Prada features a Jewish heroine named Andrea Sachs)

- Jane Green? (Green could be described as the queen of chick lit). While we believe, based upon various factors, that Green is wholly or partially Jewish, we have not been able to find proof of that. If she's not jewish, she could certainly get past the velvet rope at the Dreydl Club based on looks.

- Elise Miller (her book Star Craving Mad features a Jewish heroine named Maddy Braverman)

- Amy Sohn (her book Run Catch Kiss features a Jewish heroine named "Steiner")

- Sue Margolis (her novel Neurotica features a Jewish protagonist; the book is apparently rather obscene, as mentioned here: http://www.theromancereader.com/margolis-neurotica.html ; another Margolis book, Apocalipstick, has a heroine surnamed Fine)

- Jennifer Coburn (New Yorker/San Diegan/Jewish; Coburn also wrote a book about sexual harrassment in the workplace - as if women should be in the workplace instead of at home raising children)

- Jennifer Weiner (her book Good In Bed features a Jewish heroine who has a lesbian mother and a dog - called Nifkin - named for the Yiddish word for 'perineum,' the place between the ass and the genitals in humans)

- Lucinda Rosenfeld (her novel What She Saw features an oversexed Jewish heroine named Phoebe Fine)

- Jillian Medoff (her book Hunger Point has a half-Jewish heroine)

- Laura Zigman (her novel Dating Big Bird has a Jewish central character)

- Sarah Mlynowski (her book Bras and Broomsticks has a heroine named Rachel Weinstein; read chapter one here)

- Laurie Gwen Shapiro (her book The Matzo Ball Heiress features a Jewish heroine surnamed Greenblotz)

- Melissa Bank (her novel The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing has a Jewish central character; more here: http://www.forward.com/issues/1999/99.08.27/fastforward.html )

- Kyra Davis (Davis is half-Jewish/half-Black; her book Sex, Murder and a Double Latte features a heroine with that same ethnic mix)

- Lauren Baratz-Logsted (her book A Little Change of Face features a Jewish heroine)

- Anna Maxted (author of Running In Heels; she used to write a sex-advice column, although we don't know if the sexual advice that she dispensed was pre-approved by a rabbi or not)


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