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Judging Chick-Lit By Its Covers (again)

Ages and ages ago, our GalleyCat predecessor considered all those legs on all those chick-lit covers. Well, in recent months, I’d been equally entertained by Jami Attenberg’s elaborate analysis for Print, where she reaches some unsettling conclusions about the genre’s visual tropes: “Terry McMillan’s faceless, statuesque women, and the rear-view on Melissa Bank’s monstrously successful 1999 novel The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing, have evolved into an army of headless wonders, as though publishers are trying to decapitate a nation of women. The comic appeal of the Bridget Jones’s Diary cover pervades the more whimsical books—girl, get over yourself!—while the pink, italic font and sexpot photo on Sex and the City has been reprised enough to turn the power of being a young single woman in urban America into a dull cliché.”

The kicker to the article, though, is the two-page chart created by design firm Giampietro+Smith which charts the connections between all that imagery. Here’s a quick sample, with an instantly recognizable title up top:

Click to see it all

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