Rethinking chick-lit

It’s the genre of books that’s frequently dismissed as the lightweight of an otherwise hefty medium. Chick-lit: where friends are forever and the drink of choice is the cosmopolitan.

Scratch the surface though, and you’ll see that they’re not always just frivolous fantasies brought to life on the page. Sometimes, they’re the spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.

Anita Heiss is one author who has used the palatability of chick-lit to give a voice to Indigenous Australian women, who have long been absent from mainstream Australian fiction. In her novels, she depicts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who are smart, career-focused, family-oriented, and with a healthy sexual appetite – not too different, really, from the women you might know.

With these books, Anita has been dubbed the inventor of a new genre: choc-lit.

I spoke to Anita about her choc-lit collection and about the writing of chick-lit, on which she led a masterclass at the ACT Writers Centre in 2013.

Anita Heiss’ latest book Tiddas, is published by Simon & Schuster.

Interview broadcasted on ArtSound FM.
Interview broadcast date: 25 March 2013.

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