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Video: Religious lit hits shelves

TODAY
updated 3/24/2005 8:12:48 AM ET 2005-03-24T13:12:48

Christian chick literature is a new genre of writing for and about single women in search of happiness and fulfillment in their lives. Christian women are buying these new books in droves. The “Today” show’s Natalie Morales reports on what this new fiction is all about.

It all started with books like "Bridget Jones's Diary" by Helen Fielding, published in 1998 — women writing openly about their innermost hopes and dreams, thoughts and fears

Chick lit is about young women but is for readers of all ages. And like the popular television series “Ally McBeal” and “Sex and the City,” it's a genre in which few thoughts are unexpressed.

“It’s a voice that is relevant, that's contemporary, that's like an extended conversation with your best friend,” says Joan Marlow Golan of Harlequin Publishing.

Those conversations concern men, money, weight and finding Mr. Right — topics that numerous writers of Christian fiction have recently taken on.

These authors also make use of Bridget-like internal conversations — "lose six, no four, no two, OK, five pounds, have friends over for dinner" — but with a new twist, as in "read my Bible more, pray more, obsess less."

Christian chick lit is a new brand of wholesome entertainment about modern life.

“In the Christian version, it would also be, 'What is God's purpose for me?' The purpose-driven life, that's what they are looking for. 'How do I live authentically in the kind of world we live in?' ” says Golan.

Of the roughly 150 million Christians in the United States, more than 60 percent are women. And based on the growth of chick lit book sales, many of them like to read.

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

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