Danica's Reviews > This Is Not Chick Lit: Original Stories by America's Best Women Writers

This Is Not Chick Lit by Elizabeth Merrick
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Apr 27, 11

Read in April, 2011

Note to self: if you're feeling disillusioned by modern fiction, don't, for the love of god, go flouncing on down to the library to check out even more modern fiction to read.

This book makes me despair: this is the best that the ladywriters of America have to offer? It's sad, but these stories feel and read lifelessly -- as if animated by a special kind of vegetable consciousness. To judge by the proferred stories, there is not a budding Toni Morrison, Marilynne Robinson, Dorothy Parker, or Joyce Carol Oates among the listed author(esses). I had higher hopes for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, but maybe this isn't the medium that best showcases her writing chops. The Jennifer Egan piece was one of the weakest, most outlandish ones from Goon Squad. Even the story about coming out gay in Panama and the story by the token Chinese-American author (always two categories near and dear to my heart) fell flat; each attempting revelation, soaring epiphany, life-changing acceptance of the flawed human self, but mostly just sputtering and nudging along the ground, exhausted. Kind of like Buzz and Woody on their rocket ship/skateboard at the end of Toy Story 1. "Failure to launch..."

Also, why does everyone in here write the same way? What I'd give for a line of Morrison's or Robinson's that reads like it'd wandered in accidentally from a poetry conference.

(At least I found Ava Bean and Embrace quite moving.)
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