As literary movements go, “chick lit” proved fairly durable, spawning countless novels since its late-’90s heyday, most featuring young heroines braving the wilds of city life in search of careers and mates. Now a new crop of heroines are kicking off their Manolos and trading martinis for manure, spawning “farm lit,” as The Atlantic reports. Novels such as Georgia’s Kitchen by Jenny Nelson and nonfiction accounts like Rurally Screwed: My Life Off the Grid With the Cowboy I Love by Jessie Knadler all feature ambitious young women fleeing the fast track for “simpler, more authentic lives”—perhaps a response to the recession or to what we’ve termed The Super Stress Era. In Australia, where the genre is known as “chook lit,” the fantasy often extends to herding sheep.
Despite the down-home themes, some marketers are selling a chic version of the lifestyle: Williams-Sonoma now offers high-end chicken coops, and Urban Outfitters’ upscale Terrain garden stores stock $68 garden hoses. —Alec Foege