On the heels of Michelle Kakutani's despairing over the state of the chick lit novel which we referred to the other day, comes comforting reassurance, also from the New York Times, that the genre is not entirely hackneyed and/or dead.
Reviewer Janer Maslin points out that one very basic fact about chick lit readers is that they like to read, and Jennifer Kaurman and Karen Mack have built on that idea in their new book, Literacy and Longing in L. A.
So Ms. Kaufman and Ms. Mack have used reading itself as their book's source of sex appeal and have done it with enjoyable brio. In "Literacy and Longing in L.A." they write about a newly single, well-heeled character whose secret vice is binging on books.
It is not that this gambit is so unusual; there are plenty of books about the allure of reading. But the fusion of bibliomania and romantic comedy is appealingly offbeat. In a genre in which the breakup of a love affair leads inexorably to the purchase of new shoes, these two have the temerity to describe a trip to the street where L. Frank Baum lived as a therapeutic experience. They nicely balance an interest in Eudora Welty with the obligatory yadda-yadda about Prada.