LITTLE EARTHQUAKES, the paperback, goes on sale on Tuesday, just in time for the Fourth of July, at the bargain-basement price of $14. They make great gifts! Or great doorstops!

There's a great article in Newsday that talks about the Sittenfeld/Bank contretemps, my response to same, and and does a good job of spelling out perhaps the central question of the chick lit/high brow debate: namely, what's so morally offensive about an entertaining read?

The only points I'd add would be one, add me to the list of readers eagerly awaiting Judith Krantz's return to Scruples/Princess Daisy form...and two, when women writers trash other women writers, nothing good can come of it.

As Erica Jong, who appears to have sustained a swift kick to the head at some point in the last six years, observed back in 1998, "In a world in which women are set up as tokens and rivals, our thoughtless impulse to attack each other is an evolutionary throwback we can ill afford. It merely perpetuates our second-class status, leaving us out of the club of power forever.... Women attacking women is a way to maintain the status quo. Carolyn Heilbrun says that "power consists in deciding which stories shall be told." By continuing the calumnies of the Old Boy Network, we are only enforcing our own inferiority. When a woman attacks another woman, all she really proves is that she hates herself."

In other news, the cover for GOODNIGHT NOBODY will most likely look something like this:


It's gorgeous. It's sexy. It's definitely eye-catching. It....doesn't really look much like the main character, one Kate Klein, a full-figured mother of three who laments that in her pre-baby life in New York City, she'd occasionally get whistles and admiring glances, but, out in the 'burbs, she's Shamu in a sweater set.

Also, I'm a little worried that readers will think she's bent over like that because she's hurrying to the toilet after eating a bag of Olestra-laced potato chips, but maybe that's just me.

I don't know. Maybe people will think it's one of the other, thinner female characters in the story. Or maybe they won't care.

Blog followers already know that finding a cover for this book has been rough going. I loved the cover with a gold door knocker on a dark-blue background, but the sales reps -- the people who have the ultimate say in what your book's going to look like -- decreed it too safe, too staid, not edgy or sexy enough.

Also, there wasn't any pink in it, and how would my readers know it was me unless there was pink? (I was tempted to point out that probably printing my name in letters big enough to be read in New Jersey would do the trick.)

So now we've got Miss Skinnypants and her pretty red shoes.

Jen