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'A snobbish distaste for popular writing'

17 November 2003

'If you write the kind of contemporary women's fiction I do - light, commercial and prettily packaged - the assumption is that it can't be much cop. Barely a week goes by without some sneering reference to chick-lit which has become all but a term of abuse. Why this should be is not clear - simple envy, perhaps, at our huge sales and concomitantly large advances. Or the belief that because these books are easy to read, they're easy to write. They're not. But I think there is something much deeper at work: a snobbish distaste for popular writing full stop.

'It is as though there is this wondrous thing called "literary fiction" that is pure and untainted (however dreary), against which all massmarket fiction is set. When people ask me what sort of books I write, I reply that they are romantic comedies about self-deceiving women - women who fail to acknowledge the mess they're making of things - because that's precisely what they are.'

Isobel Woolf in the London Evening Standard