Jane Green: Chick lit ‘has changed a lot in 18 years’

Temping Fate
“Tempting Fate” is Jane Green’s 15th novel.
Credit: Ian Warburg

Back in 1997, when Jane Green released her first novel, “Straight Talking,” there was no such thing as chick lit. Green, along with a few other authors at the time, is among the founders of what went on to become a billion-dollar genre.

“Helen Fielding wrote ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary,’ and ‘Straight Talking’ came out three or four months later, and there were a couple other books in England that came out around the same time,” Green tells us. “A newspaper ran a double-spread article about us and said we had created this new genre, ‘chick lit.’ And that’s really how it started.”

Green has made a career of writing commercial women’s fiction and is releasing her 15th book, “Tempting Fate,” on March 25. According to her, writing for women now is very different than it was 18 years ago. “When I first started writing, [chick lit] was aspirational. You had these huge, sexy, glitzy sagas about women who conquered the world. They weren’t very real, but they were huge fun. I think what we did was introduce a genre that really held a mirror to women, and held it with great honesty and humor,” she says. “I don’t think there was a genre of books where women were able to read and say, ‘I’ve been there. That’s exactly what my life is like.’”

Her new novel is about infidelity, full of so many “what if?”s and “then what?”s that make it impossible not to devour in just a few sittings. As Green has gotten older, so have  her characters. The principal character in “Tempting Fate” isn’t a 20- or 30-something trying to figure out her relationship status; it’s a woman in her 40s on the brink of a midlife crisis.

“My days of writing about women in their 20s and 30s are over,” Green says. “I’ve always drawn on my own life. … All of a sudden in my 40s, I noticed a number of women who announced they’d been unhappy for years and, unbearably, it turned out these women were having affairs. I started to really look at female infidelity, and in particular what happens to a woman in her 40s. Why am I seeing so many women being unfaithful? What is going on?”

Green is contractually obligated to release two books a year, so even though she is just now celebrating the release of “Tempting Fate,” her 16th book is already done and she’s at work on the 17th. “My next book is called ‘Saving Grace’ and is about an older man married to a younger woman. They take on an assistant who seems perfect in every way, but within a short period of time she starts systematically destroying their lives,” she reveals. Sounds just about right.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.