At the end of 2015, I wrote a post about my goals at Grab the Lapels. In it, I described why I started GTL, what I read that year, and what I wanted to change. My 3rd goal was “Provide a space for women to feel confident that they can get their book some attention when they may not in other venues.” That means I want to look at small presses and books that may lack “market appeal.”
Surprisingly, about half of the authors I read in 2015 were women who didn’t really need my help: Jenny Lawson, Kate Beaton, and Roxane Gay, for example. My goal in 2016 was to clean up the pile of books sent by publishers and authors, though the #20BooksofSummer challenge influenced my goal.
Sadly, my stats on writers without a solid platform are just over 50%. I read authors like Kelly Chripczuk, Monica Nolan, Tsipi Keller, and Elaine Richardson, and those authors tended to have diverse social, economic, racial, and national backgrounds.
What I’m learning on my quest to find fat fiction in 2017 is that most authors who write fat women are self-published or with small presses. Fat fiction doesn’t have the kind of “market appeal” publishers know is safe because no one’s really doing it — not successfully, anyway. Maybe it’s all the blue covers:
A lot of fat fiction hinges on weight loss and romance, and readers have tired of that already. I have, however, expanded my list since my end-of-the-year post, a task that has taken a considerable amount of time to complete. There’s variety: self-published, big publisher, small press, fiction, and nonfiction:
- I Do It With the Lights On by Whitney Way Thore
- Dietland by Sarai Walker
- Skinny by Diana Spechler
- Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
- Fat Girl Dances with Rocks by Susan Stinson
- Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
- Fat Girl: A True Story by Judith Moore
- Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
- Certain Girls (sequal) by Jennifer Weiner
- Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell
- Outside the Bones by Lyn Di Iorio <<thanks for the rec, Rosalie Morales Kearns!
- Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes by Sue Watson
- Losing It by Lindsay Faith Rech
- Misadventures of Fatwoman by Elizabeth Julie Powell
- Giving Up the Ghost by Hilary Mantel
- If the Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman << thanks for the rec, Rachel!
- Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean
- Two Girls, Fat and Thin by Mary Gaitskill <<thanks for the rec, Paula Bomer!
- Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
- This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare by Gabby Sidibe
- Fat Girls and Lawn Chairs by Cheryl Peck
- Faith, Vol. 1: Holywood and Vine by Jody Houser << thanks for the rec, Bina!
- Push by Sapphire
- The Corset Diaries by Katie MacAlister
- The Fat Friend: A Novel by Julie Edelson
- Venus of Chalk by Susan Stinson << thanks for the rec, Casey!
- Morning Song by Susan Simone
- Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy
- Invisible by Jeanne Bannon
- Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp by Stephanie Klein
- The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen <<thanks for the rec, TJ!