In the previous chapter, my main aim was to propose that while Bridget Jones’s Diary came to be regarded as the defining chick lit novel, there were precursors which demonstrated that Fielding had merely tapped a nerve with her own writing which already existed. What emerged from Fielding’s success was a more general tendency for young women to write popular fiction which stuck very closely to the conditions of their own lives and adopted a confessional tone of narration — first person, diaries, emails, or a mixture of all of these. Links to Bridget Jones remain in the work of chick litters moving into the millennium, but their work has also grown up and diversified, suggesting that if in the reception of Bridget Jones’s Diary a ‘genre’ was identified, newer writers coming into the marketplace sought to expand it and incorporate wider aspects of female (and male) experience. In addition, whereas original chick lit writers (and readers) were in their twenties and thirties during the mid-1990s, many are now creeping into their thirties and forties, and the generational specificity of original chick lit is starting to broaden and blur.
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