Thursday, February 21, 2013

Not just love stories

I was at a bookstore recently, trying to figure out if my new book was in stock and where it was placed. The staff was kind. They let me sign a few copies. Then, trying to be helpful, the manager’s assistant asked if I would like them to move the book from the overcrowded ‘Indian Writing’ shelf to ‘Romance’, where it would find a focused readership.

I said ‘No’ quickly and my voice was sharper than I intended it to be. I felt I had to squash the faintest notion that my book, although it is about love, was romantic. Partly because it isn’t romantic. But also because I was terrified of being genre-ized, trivialized, un-serioused.

Much as I want to be read by millions, I’m not afraid of being ghettoized if it means being considered a more ‘serious’ writer. Like most women writers I know, I do write stories about relationships. But I’m damned if I’m going to be ushered into the corner – admittedly a better-paid corner – currently occupied by writers of romance novels or ‘chick-lit’.

It could be that I am only imagining this, but it seems to me that few women writers who get stuck with the ‘chick’ tag have been taken seriously as, say, informers of public opinion or social commentators.

Read the rest of the piece here:


Unknown said...

I am glad you didnt allow yourself to be slotted. You write about relationships and though love is the essence of all there is so much more

I have started penning my thought too on

Ambika said...

Hi Annie,
Lovely piece.
I had attended your session at JLF last year. It was good to see you in person. But,I somehow hesitated to go and talk to you.

Annie Zaidi said...

Thanks Ambika. And I hope you liked the book too. And next time, don't hesitate. I don't usually bite :)

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