This Is Not Chick Lit
Original Stories by America's Best Women Writers
By Elizabeth Merrick (Editor)
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780812975673, 336pp.)
Publication Date: August 1, 2006
Categories: Short Stories (Anthologies)
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New short stories from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie • Aimee Bender • Judy Budnitz • Jennifer S. Davis • Jennifer Egan • Carolyn Ferrell • Mary Gordon • Cristina Henríquez • Samantha Hunt •Binnie Kirshenbaum • Dika Lam • Caitlin Macy • Francine Prose • Holiday Reinhorn • Roxana Robinson • Curtis Sittenfeld • Lynne Tillman • Martha Witt
Chick lit: A genre of fiction that often recycles the following plot: Girl in big city desperately searches for Mr. Right in between dieting and shopping for shoes. Girl gets dumped (sometimes repeatedly). Girl finds Prince Charming.
This Is Not Chick Lit is a celebration of America’s most dynamic literary voices, as well as a much needed reminder that, for every stock protagonist with a designer handbag and three boyfriends, there is a woman writer pushing the envelope of literary fiction with imagination, humor, and depth.
The original short stories in this collection touch on some of the same themes as chick lit–the search for love and identity–but they do so with extraordinary power, creativity, and range; they are also political, provocative, and, at turns, utterly surprising. Featuring marquee names as well as burgeoning talents, This Is Not Chick Lit will nourish your heart, and your mind.
“This Is Not Chick Lit is important not only for its content, but for its title. I’ll know we’re getting somewhere when equally talented male writers feel they have to separate themselves from the endless stream of fiction glorifying war, hunting and sports by naming an anthology This Is Not a Guy Thing.”
“These voices, diverse and almost eerily resonant, offer us a refreshing breath of womanhood-untamed, ungroomed, and unglossed.”–ELLE
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria. Her first novel,
Purple Hibiscus, won the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the
Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and
the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and longlisted for the Booker. Her short
fiction has won the 2003 O. Henry Prize and has appeared in various literary
publications, including Granta and the Iowa Review. She is a
2005/2006 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University and divides her time
between the United States and Nigeria. Her second novel, Half of a Yellow
Sun, will be published in September 2006.
Aimee Bender is the author of three books, most recently the story collection
Willful Creatures. Her short fiction has been published in
Granta, GQ, Harper’s, The Paris Review, Tin House, and other publica-
tions and has been heard on Public Radio International’s This American
Life. She lives in Los Angeles.
Judy Budnitz’s stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Story,
The Paris Review, the Oxford American, Glimmer Train, Fence, and
McSweeney’s. She is the recipient of an O. Henry Prize, and her debut
collection, Flying Leap, was a New York Times Notable Book in 1998.
Budnitz is also the author of the novel If I Told You Once, which won the
Edward Lewis Wallant Award, and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize in
Britain. Her most recent book is the collection Nice Big American Baby.
She lives in San Francisco.
Jennifer S. Davis is the author of Her Kind of Want, winner of the
2002 Iowa Award for Short Fiction. Her fiction has appeared in such
magazines as the Oxford American, The Paris Review, Grand Street, and
One Story. Her new collection of short stories, Our Former Lives in Art,
is forthcoming from Random House in spring 2007.
Jennifer Egan is the author of the novels The Invisible Circus and
Look at Me, which was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2001,
and a short-story collection, Emerald City. Her short stories have appeared
in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and McSweeney’s, among other
publications. Also a journalist, she writes frequently for The New York
Times Magazine. Her new novel, The Keep, will be published in August
Carolyn Ferrell is the author of the short-story collection Don’t
Erase Me, which won the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the
John C. Zacharis First Book Award, given by Ploughshares, and the New
Voices Award from Quality Paperback Book Club. Her stories have been
published in several anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories
of the Century, edited by John Updike, and Children of the Night:
The Best Short Stories by Black Writers, 1967 to the Present, edited by
Gloria Naylor. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship,
Ferrell teaches at Sarah Lawrence College. She lives in the Bronx
with her husband and two children.
Mary Gordon’s novels include Pearl, Spending, The Company of
Women, The Rest of Life, and The Other Side. She is also the author of the
memoir The Shadow Man, among other works of nonfiction. She has received
a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship,
and the 1997 O. Henry Award for best story. She teaches at Barnard College
and lives in New York City.
Cristina Henríquez is the author of the short-story collection Come
Together, Fall Apart. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop,
and her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Glimmer
Train, TriQuarterly, and AGNI. She was featured in Virginia Quarterly
Review as one of “Fiction’s New Luminaries.” She lives in Dallas with
Samantha Hunt is a writer and artist from New York. She is the author
of The Seas and the forthcoming novel The Invention of Everything Else.
Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Cabinet, and
Seed Magazine and have been heard on Public Radio International’s This
American Life. Hunt teaches writing at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
Binnie Kirshenbaum is the author of two story collections, Married
Life and History on a Personal Note, and five novels, On Mermaid
Avenue, Pure Poetry, A Disturbance in One Place, Hester Among the
Ruins, and An Almost Perfect Moment. She is a professor at Columbia
University, Graduate School of the Arts.
Dika Lam was born in Canada and lives in Brooklyn. She was a New
York Times Fellow in the MFA program at New York University, and her
work has appeared in Scribner’s Best of the Fiction Workshops 1999, Story,
One Story, Failbetter.com, and elsewhere. The first chapter of her novel-in-
progress won the 2005 Bronx Writers’ Center Chapter One contest.
Caitlin Macy is the author of the novel The Fundamentals of Play and
is at work on a collection of short stories. Her short fiction has appeared
in The New Yorker and she is the recipient of a 2005 O. Henry Prize. She
lives with her family in London.
Francine Prose is the author of fourteen books of fiction, including,
most recently, A Changed Man and Blue Angel, which was a finalist for
the National Book Award. Her nonfiction includes the national bestseller
The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women and the Artists They Inspired
and Caravaggio: Painter of Miracles. Her next book, Reading Like a
Writer, will be out in summer 2006 from HarperCollins. A recipient of
numerous grants and awards, among them Guggenheim and Fulbright
fellowships, Prose was a Director’s Fellow at the Center for Scholars and
Writers at the New York Public Library. She lives in New York City.
Holiday Reinhorn lives in Los Angeles. Her debut collection of short
stories, Big Cats, was named one of the best books of 2005 by the San
Francisco Chronicle. She is a recipient of the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction
and a Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellowship from the Creative Writing
Institute at the University of Wisconsin/Madison. Reinhorn’s stories
have appeared in Zoetrope, Tin House, Ploughshares, and Columbia,
among other publications. She is currently at work on a novel.
Roxana Robinson is the author of seven books: three novels, three
short-story collections, and a biography of Georgia O’Keeffe. Her most
recent book is the collection A Perfect Stranger. Robinson was named a
Literary Lion by the New York Public Library and has received fellowships
from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim
Foundation. Four of her books were named Notable Books of the Year
by The New York Times. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The
Atlantic, Harper’s, One Story, Daedalus, Best American Short Stories,
The New York Times, and elsewhere. She lives in New York City and
teaches at the New School.
Curtis Sittenfeld’s first novel, Prep, was a national bestseller. Chosen
as one of the Ten Best Books of 2005 by The New York Times, it will
be published in twenty-three foreign countries, and its film rights have
been optioned by Paramount Pictures. Her second novel, The Man of
My Dreams, was published by Random House in May 2006. Sittenfeld’s
nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Salon, Allure,
Glamour, and on Public Radio International’s This American Life.
Lynne Tillman’s last novel, No Lease on Life, was a finalist for the National
Book Critics Circle Award for fiction and a New York Times Notable
Book of the Year. Her most recent book is This Is Not It, a collection of
stories and novellas. Her new novel American Genius: A Comedy will be
published by Soft Skull Press in October 2006. Tillman is a fellow of the
New York Institute of the Humanities and a recent recipient of a
Martha Witt is the author of the novel Broken as Things Are. Her short
fiction and translations are included in the anthologies Post-War Italian
Women Writers and The Literature of Tomorrow. She is a recipient of
a Thomas J. Watson Traveling Fellowship, a Spencer Fellowship, a
Walter E. Dakin Fellowship, and a New York Times Fellowship, as well
as residencies at the Yaddo and Ragdale artist colonies. Originally from
Hillsborough, North Carolina, she now lives in New York City with her
husband and two children
“These voices, diverse and almost eerily resonant, offer us a refreshing breath of womanhood-untamed, ungroomed, and unglossed.”-ELLE