Admit it - you get a satisfaction from binging on the Nutrasweetened empty calories of that genre known colloquially as chick-lit. Think glossy pink-accented covers with stylized sketches of lipsticks and ladies, containing glamorously trashy tales of love, sex and shopping. Who would've thought the venerated International Festival Of Authors would showcase so many examples of such an oh-so-anti-academic genre?
CANDACE BUSHNELL reading and interviewed by Carolyn Weaver Saturday (October 22), 8 pm, at the Brigantine Room
Along with Bridget Jones creator Helen Fielding, the woman who brought us Carrie Bradshaw is one of the de facto pioneers behind the current crop of brilliantly bawdy chick-centric fiction. While Bushnell has yet to capture the Bust femme-inist zeitgeist with the same chutzpah and skill of those first Sex And The City columns, her latest novel, Lipstick Jungle, looks at go-getter babes in their 40s navigating a youth-skewed professional arena. Evolution's always a good thing.
MELISSA BANK reading October 29, 3 pm, at the Premiere Dance Theatre and joining a round table October 28, 7 pm, at the Brigantine Room
With 99's The Girls' Guide To Hunting And Fishing, NYC-based upstart Bank established herself as a razor-sharp talent, skilfully following an everygirl protagonist through a series of interconnected short stories. Her follow-up, The Wonder Spot, improves on the formula, spanning three decades in the life of one existentially questioning young woman, and throws some much-needed dark humour and depth into the typical chick-lit equation.
ALISON PICK reading October 29, 3 pm, at the Premiere Dance Theatre and joining a round table October 26, 7 pm, at the Studio Theatre
Canada's Pick writes the thinking girl's chick-lit. Her debut novel, The Sweet Edge, is a bittersweet reflection on 20-something relationships. Pick, who's won awards for her poetry, has an ear for precise and beautiful language that's rare in the shopaholic-style tome. Definitely one to watch.
LAUREN WEISBERGER reading October 29, 3 pm, at the Premiere Dance Theatre
Ohmygod, gossipfest! Weisberger established herself as chick-lit's bad girl equivalent of Rizzo from Grease when she unveiled 2003's The Devil Wears Prada, the deliciously catty roman à clef not-so-secretly based on a stint assisting Vogue dragon lady Anna Wintour. Her second outing, Everything Worth Knowing, dives headlong into the dirty champagne-soaked world of celebrity spin doctors er, PR flacks. Sure to be salacious.