What’s a “glitz novel”?

By Maeve Maddox

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Lately I’ve been scouring the 2010 Guide to Literary Agents and keep coming across “glitz” as a genre. For example

Fiction areas of interest: Action/Adventure, Experimental, Family Saga, Glitz, Historical, Humor, Literary, Mainstream, Mystery/Suspense, Religious, Thriller, Women’s.

So what exactly is the “glitz” genre?

Writing about Judith Krantz’s Dazzle for the [Florida] Sun-Sentinel in 1990, Joyce Sweeney defined the genre before it was a genre:

Bestselling author Judith Krantz …denied hotly on a recent morning television interview that she was a genre writer. However, her novels do follow a definite pattern. If the genre had a name it might be the glitz novel. It would feature a spunky heroine, usually with a quirky name and a career in a glamorous industry. The heroine must choose among several fascinating men, battle evil and make the world a better place.

Now the term pops up everywhere:

‘Ultra-smart and classily edgy, this is the glitz novel brought up to date.’ (Innocence by Kathleen Tessaro)

… a hardcover glitz novel revolving around a movie studio…

There’s a tinge of the glitz-novel in places as the money flows and grows, but it would be unfair to class this as embossed-cover fare. (review of Across the Bridge of Sighs by Jane Turner Rylands)

Jackie [Collins] is the Queen of the Hollywood glitz novel, so popular a decade ago but then tastes changed and the genre went out of fashion, so professional Jackie changed too. She still portrays ultra-rich, glitz lives of power and decadence,…

these women are supposed to represent the allegedly more “feminist” versions of the “glitz girls” found in books by Judith Krantz, Jacqueline Susann, etc.

The 2008 novel Glitz by Louise Bagshawe is a glitz novel.
The 1985 novel Glitz by Leonard Elmore is not.

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2 Responses to “What’s a “glitz novel”?”

  • Allena

    This reminds me of Lauren Conrad, of MTV fame. She writers novels about reality tv in Hollywood. Not saying I’ve read them 🙂 but ya never know.

  • Chris M

    Okay, I understand “Glitz” Novel. Can someone give me an example of an “experimental” genre novel?

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