Feminism for the Chick Lit Generation: Irish Chick Lit and Feminist Theory
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This thesis will present a study of the work of Irish writer Marian Keyes in terms of her texts, and the cultural context of these texts. The nature of chick lit as a formulaic genre will be examined, and the ability of Keyes’ work to transcend the apparent limits of this genre by addressing important social issues will also be addressed. This close examination of Keyes’ work, both her fiction and non-fiction, will demonstrate that she uses the genre’s framework to provide progressive perspectives on a wide variety of other issues. Keyes’s writing will be examined through three contextual paradigms. She writes from, and within, three different perspectives: her role as an Irish author (and, importantly, a female Irish author), her role as a chick lit author, and her potential to be an author who addresses contemporary feminist issues. Working within the chick lit framework, Keyes tends to feature Ireland as the setting of most of her novels (and memories of Ireland and Irish life in the novels that take place elsewhere), while also writing about an increasing number of feminist issues, including domestic violence and sexual harassment and discrimination.It is thus hoped that this thesis will provide a serious, theoretically-informed reading of an author who is widely read and very popular, which will demonstrate that her writing addresses serious issues in society from a broadly post-feminist perspective. I hope to show that Marion Keyes is a significant figure in terms of any analysis of the position, location and complexity of the role of women in contemporary culture.