If I’ve heard it once in the last six months, I’ve heard it eleventy-seven bloody times: ‘It’s all about grip-lit like Gone Girl and Girl On The Train’. ‘Grip-lit, the term coined by Marian Keyes to describe psychological thrillers’. ‘Women reading and writing grip-lit are what it’s all about in bookselling right now’.
No offence to the chick noir writers out there (despite the apparently derogatory gender stereotyping of the phrase, I prefer chick noir, probably because it was around first, and isn’t currently being done to death) but I have now reached the stage where I’m heartily sick of hearing about grip-lit.
I salute all the fine writers of it, particularly the ones I’m reading at the moment, but I’ve had enough of the lazy genre stereotyping, and could happily go the next six months without hearing the term grip-lit mentioned even once.
However, I know that’s impossible, so I’ve decided to attack from another angle: I’m going to suggest even more lazy genre stereotyping, in the hopes that it might dilute the deluge of grip-litting all over the bloody shop right now. Let’s treat all popular genres to a lazy moniker and call it contemporary and cool and like, totally right now happening, man. Who’s with me?
All you have to do is choose from the below list of 20 book genres, and just start shouting the bejeebus out of it all over the internet. WhatsApp it and Facebook it (they’re reading your phone anyway). Blog it. Pinterest it with a suitably lazily stereotyped book cover. Snapchat it in full knowledge that when it disappears, it’s actually recorded somewhere else and will go viral in no time. Instagram your choice painted in artichoke paste over a photo-shopped body part, I don’t care. Just get it out there.
20 New Book Genres Which Might Stop People Saying ‘Grip-Lit’
- Flit-Lit: à la Douglas Kennedy. Main character gets into trouble and tries to disappear, but their old life invariably catches up with them.
- Snip-Lit: Revenge plots with Lorena Bobbitt-loving heroines.
- Chip-Lit: Unreliable fat narrator loses weight, but never admits how they did it.
- Trip-Lit: Books about adorable Mary Sues who keep falling over all the time.
- Crick-Lit: Horror stories so atmospheric that they give readers neck pain from constantly checking behind them.
- Hick-Lit: Books set in isolated rural areas, written by urban city dwellers.
- Flip-Lit: Think Michael Douglas in Falling Down. Like Flit-Lit, only with the main character having a meltdown instead of an escape plan.
- Stick-Lit: I was going to make an EL James joke here, but you don’t want me to.
- Zip-Lit: Books you love, but can’t tell anyone you’re reading for fear of embarrassing yourself.
- Click-Lit: Only available in E-book format.
- Wick-Lit: Historical Fiction. You had to ask?
- Mick-Lit: books with Irish characters, written by authors who have never been to Ireland, or spoken to a real live Irish person.
- Whip-Lit: I’m sure it’s already been used for EL James, so let’s switch this one to highbrow political thrillers (obvious sexual connotations included).
- Hipst-Lit: I could tell you what this is, but by the time you find out, it’ll already be over.
- Bit-Lit or Quick-Lit: Smartphone-friendly novellas of 10,000 words or fewer.
- Lip-Lit: Get your minds out of the gutter! Audiobooks, right?
- Ship-Lit: All of Joseph Conrad. Or thrillers set by the sea, or on cruise liners (This is already a thing, because I even have an example, so there.)
- Nick-Lit: Epic heists in the grand old tradition. A bit of jewel thievery never hurt any plot.
- Drip-Lit: A return to the good old days of serialisation, à la Charles Dickens. Get one new chapter of a thriller auto-delivered to your smart device every day.
- Kip-Lit: Any book which makes you look intelligent, but never fails to send you to sleep.
You know, it’s amazing how many of these sound dirty when they first run through your head. Just sayin’.
Which one will you choose to champion?
Alternatively, have you any suggestions of your own? Because I discarded a good 15 of these before finalising this list, so I know you have it in you. Additions to the list in the comments please. And no grumbling. You don’t get nuttin’ for free round here.