Media Archives

This Is Not Chick Lit in the press:
(For press on Elizabeth Merrick’s debut novel Girly click here.)

  • “A riot of women’s voices–writhing, colorful, and alive”
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  • “It’s not that Merrick, 33, hates all chick lit. It’s just that she wants to spread the word about what she calls ‘a golden moment’ for women writing serious literary fiction. ‘It’s interesting,’ she says, ‘that as this is happening, we’re getting the same chick lit narrative over and over again.’”
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  • “Yes, editor Elizabeth Merrick is female, and the short stories she’s collected are written by women, but marketplace be damned, This Is Not Chick Lit (Random House).”
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  • “What these stories indeed, what all great literature has in common is a refusal to follow a simple formula, chick lit or otherwise. These are stories that make us grapple with the complexities of life and love and the ways we abrade each other, reminding us that the human experience is much bigger and messier than what is typically found in formulaic writing.”
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  • “Merrick knows firsthand how difficult it is for women who write literary fiction… As one top agent wrote, ‘Honey, you’re the real thing, but I know I won’t be able to sell this.’
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  • “This, as it turns out, is discourse and as long as it’s showcasing some good, smart, accomplished women writers, then I think it takes us that much closer to turning the chick lit frog into a prince.”
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  • “There isn’t a weak piece in the lot – each revealing and reveling in the ‘complexity of human experience.’”
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  • “None of the anthology’s 18 stories follows a formula; every one is a surprise. They address women’s lives without condescension and with plenty of intelligence, style and wit. This isn’t chick lit, but maybe chick lit should aspire to be this good.”

  • “Defies ‘girlie’ stereotypes.”
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  • “What keeps this literary jack-of-all-trades fighting the good fight? Books, of course. Merrick shares one recent work that has kept her inspired.”
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  • “The subject is gender inequality between book covers, and Elizabeth Merrick isn’t kidding around.”
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NPR Audio Interview:
A new generation of women’s writers has emerged and they disown the literary genre known as “chick lit.” The editor and authors of a new anthology, This Is Not Chick Lit, offer their take on women’s literature. Click here to listen.

Press for Girly, Elizabeth Merrick’s Debut Novel
(For press on Elizabeth Merrick’s anthology This is Not Chick Lit click here.)

  • “Devastatingly sharp and evocative… honest, judgeless prose.”
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  • “already known as an underground sensation”
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  • A moody, gothic debut, which makes for a brutal, and cathartic, emotional experience. It’s a nice start for Merrick and Brooklyn-based Demimonde alike.”
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  • “Merrick has captured a part of the universal female experience that is rare in modern literature with statements like “…I also think, though I partly know it is not true, there would be a sister, a mother, a father, if I were beautiful.” She captures the darker, more painful side of femininity from which beauty and strength grow.”
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  • “The fabulous thing about a reading series is that (most of them, at least) aren’t beholden to the very tough economics of the publishing world and are run pretty much solely on enthusiasm for great literature…”
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  • “the real revolution would’ve been to have half women and half men. Another elite boys’ club—we have enough of those already.”
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Interviews with Elizabeth

“I wanted to read a big-ass, epic, thoughtfully-written novel . . .that echoed the stories and worlds I was hearing in Bjork, Tori Amos, PJ Harvey, Sleater Kinney—it didn’t exist, I couldn’t find it. I would look on bookstore shelves so hopefully. But it wasn’t there. So I wrote it.”
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“Part of writing it was that I was very much interested in NOT writing a typical first novel or just writing a novel to write one. I wanted to write something that resembled the books that blew me away. One of those authors for me is Louise Erdrich, who is Faulknerian; I actually think that she takes Faulkner to the next level. She is commanding and I loved the sense of a community telling a story—this community of characters. I loved finding things from one character that the other characters don’t know about.”
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From Gothamist.com:
“Poetically atmospheric and compulsively readable.”
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From Trigger Magazine:
“Blessedly Un Chick-Lit. Almost chemically addictive, for sure.”
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From ReadySteadyBook.com:
“Girly enchants the reader while bringing them raw and scorching moments of truth and vision.”
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From Artspass.com:
“Elizabeth Merrick has decided to take on chick lit with some lit of her own.”
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More Articles

From The Toledo Blade “Women’s Lives are Reflected in ‘Chick Lit’ Genre”
“‘I think it’s wonderful that we have more content about women’s lives than we did 10 years ago,” said Merrick. “But there’s so much more going in women’s lives than what’s frequently portrayed [in chick lit].’”

From The Observer
“Ms. Merrick admires n+1’s writing, but ‘the real revolution would’ve been to have half women and half men. Another elite boys’ club—we have enough of those already.’”

From The Kennett Paper
“Merrick earns acclaim with her new book.”

From Women’s eNews “One by One, Women Count Bylines”
“For a year, in 2004, Merrick tallied New Yorker bylines on her blog in a regular posting called ‘Weekly Spiritual Reckoning with the New Yorker.’
‘I did it for a while,’ she said. ‘But then it got too depressing. It was like clock work; every week only 20 percent of the bylines would be from women and it was usually the same extremely established women writers.’”

From mediabistro fishbowl NY “2006: Who Knew Only Men Could Foretell the Future?”

More author reviews of Girly

“Elizabeth Merrick masters a universe here, including the vast planets of girlhood, adolescence, daughter-, mother-, and sisterhood. Girly is a novel of great life and great pain. Merrick’s characters and their voices sing and weave and dodge and ultimately embroider themselves on the reader’s consciousness. To read Girly is to give yourself over to Racinda, Amandine, and Ruth, and to revel and weep in their power. Don’t miss this.”
— Kathleen Hughes, author of Dear Mrs. Lindbergh

“Elizabeth Merrick unleashes the devil in herself as she immerses us in her characters’ gothic Christian world. With ambition and sensitivity, she takes us intimately into their tangled and multilayered webs of condemnation, rivalry, insecurity, and grudges that will never die. Meanwhile, she offers hope and light telling the stories of young girls struggling for a voice in the midst of it all.”
— Paula Kamen, author of Her Way: Young Women Remake the Sexual Revolution

“GIRLY is a novel that takes risks and breaks conventions in compelling ways. Merrick is a writer unafraid to venture into new territory and to bring us with her.”
— Martha Witt, author of Broken as Things Are