Women who disagree with the trend of lumping books concerning relationship-related issues into a fluffy, too-broad genre of "chick lit" have plenty to be concerned about: Should merit not be determined by the quality of the prose rather than the gender of the author, narrator or plot elements?
Luckily, there's a male equivalent to chick lit, and conveniently enough, it rhymes! Lo and behold: Dick Lit. Books belonging to this faux-category have about as much in common with each other as Alice Munro has in common with Danielle Steel. Some concern record shop owners, while others are about expat journalists. What they DO have in common is their inclusion of sex, love and family from a male perspective or a male author. Because female authors are obviously not the only ones thinking about family, friends and first kisses.
These 9 books were selected not for their literary merit or for their placement in a particular non-literary genre, but simply for their ubiquitous popularity among men and the nature of the content. Yes, women enjoy these novels too (our Assistant Editor admits that Chuck Palahniuk was a high-school favorite), but they were all written by men. And after all, degrading categorizations shouldn't just be for women.
Here are 9 "Dick Lit" novels. Check out our list and let us know YOUR favorites in the comments:
"High Fidelity" by Nick Hornby
Dick lit was created for guys just like Rob Gordon, Hornby's snobby yet lovable protagonist who spends most of his time owning a record store, sulking and cheating on his girlfriend in spite of his heart of gold... or platinum.
"The Rum Diary" by Hunter S. Thompson
There are as many descriptions of the beautiful blonde Chenault as there is actual plot as journalist Paul Kemp navigates the dismal Puerto Rican landscape and the even more shambled San Juan newspaper.
"A Movable Feast" by Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway gossips about the friends and lovers he meets while living and writing in Paris.
"Women" by Charles Bukowski
A literary classic, maybe, but this book is essentially about a male author's dissatisfaction with an endless string of failed flings.
"The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown
A stunning cryptographer and a dashing symbologist flirt while solving mysteries and romping around Paris and the Louvre.
"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" by Jonathan Safran Foer
A found key prompts a young boy to uncover the hidden secrets left behind by the father he lost. Familial love rather than romantic love reigns supreme in this book.
"Fight Club" by Chuck Palahniuk
An anonymous narrator joins a therapeutic club (and, okay, maybe some fighting in involved) because he's suffering from insomnia. He also begins attending group therapy sessions for ailments he doesn't have, at which he begins running into a grungy woman, Marla Singer.
"Miss Lonelyhearts" by Nathanael West
A disgruntled journalist wishes he could work on something a little more serious than the love advice column as he wanders around Los Angeles meeting up with exes, new women, and his bully of a boss.
"The Broom of the System" by David Foster Wallace
A literary magazine editor falls quickly and painfully in love with a much younger girl who works as an operator. The girl, Lenore, in on a mission to find her grandmother, who has mysteriously disappeared.