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Are “Women’s Fiction” Book Jackets Anti-Feminist?

girlsintrucks-bookjacket.jpgLast month, we spotted lots of “women’s fiction” book jackets with cover models who were photographed from behind. Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Karen Heller has spotted them, too, and conflates that trend with the “disjointed body parts” cover trend of a few years back to come up with an overarching conspiracy theory:

“The thinking, or so I imagine, is that readers will look at these women’s body parts or backs and identify. ‘Why that’s me!’ or ‘That looks just like my old friend Susie!’ In other words, they think we’re stupid.”

Other than that, her argument pretty much boils down to “I really like Katie Crouch‘s Girls in Trucks, which means it can’t be chick lit, so why does it have a chick lit cover?” Then there’s the curious assertion that “if [publishers] would banish the uniform covers… and realize that women—who buy an awful lot of books—will buy ones without pink or shoes or severed body parts on the cover, they might sell a good deal more copies.” In the meantime, maybe Heller can start a book club with Maureen Dowd and Jane Smiley.

What do you think?

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