Miles Kington: Run the gauntlet of literary genres - from Giblit to Goblit

Morgan Spurlock's 'Don't Eat This Book', for example, which is all about fast food, is genuine, mainstream Chiplit
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The Independent Online

The other day I overheard a publisher talking about Hamlet and Jamie Oliver in the same breath. At first I thought I had misheard "Hamlet" for "omelette", but then he said "Hamlet" again, so I asked him curiously what possible connection there could be between Jamie Oliver and the Prince of Denmark.

"Not Hamlet !" he said. "I wasn't saying Hamlet - I was saying 'Hamlit'! 'Hamlit' is the new trendy term for books about cooking. Ever since we coined the word Chicklit for books about young women, there's been a growing need for handy shorthand terms for other genres as well. Like 'Chiplit', for instance."

"What's Chiplit?"

"Books about junk food are Chiplit. Morgan Spurlock's Don't Eat This Book, for instance, which was all about fast food and obesity. That is genuine, mainstream Chiplit. Following on from that, the publishing industry has now spawned a whole series of nifty names for new genres, so that we insiders can talk about them and nobody else know what we are on about."

"Such as?"

My friend looked round cautiously to make sure that nobody was watching, and slipped me a list.

"Here are some of the most common. But for heaven's sake don't tell anyone they came from me."

Thanks, Ron. No names, no pack drill. Well, I have now perused the secret document and I am happy to bring you a brief selection of the names given to various literary genres these days.

Backlit Books which deal with back pain, posture problems and the Alexander technique.

Underlit All writing about the underclass, criminal recidivism, antisocial behaviour orders, etc.

Sunlit Books about Rupert Murdoch, the gutter press, The Sun, etc.

Giblit All books about the experience of being on the Rock of Gibraltar. Studies of the relics of British colonialism. Surveys of modern Anglo-Spanish relations, etc, etc.

Goblit Novels about modern teenagers, especially footballers.

Gauntlit This refers to the plethora of books about compulsive starving diseases such as anorexia, and the whole modern obsession with being thin.

Bracelit All second books. A promising writer is often signed up to a two-book deal, but the second book is usually problematic after the plain sailing of the first, and many publishers secretly wish that authors would move straight from their first book to their third. As this is not often possible, we have the vexed phenomenon of Bracelit.

Gymlit The literature of indoor exercise and training.

Joglit The literature of outdoor exercise and training.

Jocklit Books about Scotland.

Sheiklit Books on Arab subjects.

Jacklit Manuals of car repairs.

Jiglit Books on Scottish Highland dancing.

Hitlit Books on pop music.

Coverlit Books on second-hand pop music.

Ringlit Books on Wagner (also boxing, also marriage).

Piglit Police histories.

Inlit Books on celebrities.

Outlit Confessional memoirs by any homosexuals who have come out, been outed, changed their basic sexuality, left the Lib Dem leadership race, etc etc.

Many more genres available. Full list on request

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