It always feels that chick-lit is quite a new genre but turns out that it is only ‘chick-lit’ – the term that is comparatively new. The kind of novels categorized under the banner have been around for a few centuries. We end up with a lot of judgments when one talks about chick-flicks and chick-lit. I’m somehow fascinated by lack of content in them though they are all healthily sized books. Why am I blabbering on about it, cause I’ve just finished reading a chick-lit kinda novel from the chick-flick maestro Nora Ephron.
The novel is said to be based on her real experiences with her second husband, cheating, divorce and central character’s obsession with food. It is aptly and simply titled Heartburn. Imdb.com also told me that there is a movie based on the novel that starred Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. Streep and Ephron’s last outing together – Julie and Julia – was no lesser treat. But before I slip into talking about films again, Heartburn is hilarious, witty but somehow too dark at the same time. While reading it you feel this constant anger of wishing to punch someone square in the face and laugh at the same time. It doesn’t lack content or soul like ‘traditional’ chick-lit but it sort of creates these confusing emotions in the readers.
The reviews of the novel say that Ephron wrote it as a revenge for the second husband, Carl Bernstein. Yes, he is the same journo involved in the Nixon hoopla. Apparently it all reminds one of another Streep movie, not directed or written by Ephron called, ‘It’s Complicated’.
We found Heartburn, published in 1983, buried in the 1 euro per book store run by a very old man. Perhaps indicating the future of chick-lit if they don’t go beyond shopping, bright colours, dating pattern of old women and recovering from heartburns. It is ironical that women themselves as writers end up glorifying the lack of content. I need some cold milk.