Finished the “lit chick” and place in the “thriller of the menopause”? Leading UK publisher says it wants more fiction books to reflect postmenopausal women’s experiences after complaints over focus on ‘pissed off’ 20-somethings
- HarperCollins Creates a New Genre They Call the Menopause Thriller
- They want stories that “change the conversation around menopause”
- It would portray peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women… standing up for themselves’
- The new genre could spell the end of the “chick bed”, which targeted young women
A leading UK publisher is “actively seeking” fiction that reflects women’s experiences of menopause.
HarperCollins wants to print stories that “change the conversation around menopause” after years of young female protagonists taking center stage.
It comes as the subject is increasingly covered on television, from Davina McCall’s Channel 4 documentary Sex, Mind and the Menopause to the Netflix political drama Borgen, in which the protagonist struggles with menopausal symptoms.
Many female authors have complained that novels about “edgy” bright young women are favored by publishers over those about the lives of middle-aged and post-menopausal characters.
Today, HarperCollins wants to lead the way by creating a new genre – the menopause thriller – that would “portray women going through peri-menopause and menopause as smart, funny and powerful characters who are liberated, walk high and fight.” .
Change of subject: Writer Kirsten Miller
Kirsten Miller’s novel The Change embraces and celebrates the menopause stage in women’s lives
This could see the end of “chick bed,” a term widely used in the 90s to describe popular fiction aimed at young women. Publishers want to expand the stories they sell. Women over the age of 45 are the main group buying e-books, according to research by The Bookseller.
Manpreet Grewal of HarperCollins told the Telegraph he will publish Kirsten Miller’s The Change in August. She said, “All editors and publishers should be looking for novels that, like The Change, embrace and celebrate this stage in women’s lives.”
Clare Hey, of Simon & Schuster UK, said: “We are proud to publish older female authors writing for and about women their age in a positive way.”