Lad Lit By Another Name: Esquire to Publish Digital Fiction for Men Only

Posted on May 30, 2012

Esquire magazine announced that it will begin publishing fiction for men. The New York Times reports that the titles will be published in digital format only. So what exactly is "Fiction for Men" anyway? Is it like Chick Lit, only for guys? David Granger, the editor in chief of Esquire, describes men's fiction as being "plot-driven and exciting, where one thing happens after another...and also at the same time, dealing with passages in a man's life that seem common." One has to wonder what kind of fiction Granger has been reading lately. Don't most books follow the rule of "one thing happens after another"? Clearly he is no fan of Lost-style flashbacks, flashforwards and flashsideways. Or, presumably, time travel.

The testosterone-laden lineup will launch with short stories by Aaron Gwyn, Luis Alberto Urrea and Jess Walter. The first ebooks will roll out o June 12th. Esquire has also signed up Stephen King and his son Joe Hill, who will collaborate on a project. Lee Child and Colum McCann have also signed on.

The idea of launching a fiction line for men only has many commentators and female authors poking fun at the project. HuffPo is asking readers to rename the entire genre (we think Dick Lit and Man Lit are in the lead).

Author Jennifer Weiner has plenty to say about the marginalization of authors of women's fiction and their exclusion from prestigious awards and the media. She joked that Granger should contact the agent of a contestant on The Bachelorette who is known for writing lengthy love letters on the reality show. She tweeted, "Dude complains that Ryan has written a novel. Editors of Esquire's new 'fiction for men' e-books start Googling for his agent. #bachelorette"

We seem to recall a similar concept called Lad Lit that went nowhere fast. At least Granger is promoting fiction. That's a good thing.
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