Is There Life After Grip-Lit? If So, What’s Next?

Tara Sparling writes

Is There Life After Grip-Lit? If So, What's Next?

You won’t believe this, but once upon a time, Before I Go To Sleep and Gone Girl were unheard of. The idea of a girl on a train would have been met with shrugs, apathy, and mutterings of “sounds boring. And what’s with this ‘girl’ thing? Aren’t you supposed to say ‘woman’ nowadays?” Not every single plot on the planet had to have a twist. Not every ending was the shock of the century. And James Patterson wrote his own books.

There was more than one genre to talk about. Okay, there was a lot of crime – mainly alcohol-soaked police procedurals with serial killers who killed women in endlessly creative ways – and chick-lit, featuring ditzy heroines who fell over a lot in designer heels in front of *spoiler alert* men who loved them ALL ALONG. But cops and shoes weren’t everything.

This was a time when the misery memoir was front and centre on the…

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