What men want
After chick lit, it’s men’s turn to turn on the tap of creativity. The new literary genre is called lad lit
Move over Bridget Jones, Mark Darcy is here. After the hyped arrival of chick lit as a genre, men have decided to keep pace, coming up with their own version of a literary strand called—no surprises here—lad lit. So even as debate rages over the limitations and frivolity of the genre, the works are raking up sales and rising in popularity, inspiring a new breed of lad lit writers.
Cases in point are the first anniversary edition of Abhijit Bhaduri’s celebrated B-school drama, Mediocre But Arrogant, which hits the market this week, the success of Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone and One Night @ the
“People aren’t really aware about the genre, but are gradually becoming interested in purchasing works that fall into the category,” says Anil Arora, proprietor of Bookworm in
However, unlike Bhaduri, most authors and publishers prefer not to categorise their work. “Lad lit is essentially a form of writing that is targeted at the young male audience and none of the Indian writings fit into that classification,” says Ravi Singh, editor-in-chief of Penguin. So while Sudeep Chakravarti’s Penguin publication Tin Fish, a nostalgic narrative of a 15-year-old studying in Mayo College in the 1970s, may have the essentials of a lad lit, Chakravarti doesn’t prefer to term it as one. Says he, “It’s simply about a youngster’s tribulations and experiences. It appeals to a cross-section of society, not simply the lads, so why call it lad lit?”
The denunciation is apparent, but also much needed. As Singh explains, “Lad lit is usually targeted at young men and they comprise a very minute segment of the pulp fiction readers in
While the authors still ponder over the definition and relevance of lad lit, there’s no arguing that the works are flying off the shelves. “Lad lit is here to stay and will continue till all college/school campus settings have been utilised,” predicts Bhaduri.