It’s more appealing to female readers than sexy were-seals:
Kelly’s exposé could be the start of a widespread backlash against misery literature, a genre kick-started by Angela’s Ashes in 1996, and which took off globally four years later with A Child Called It, Dave Pelzer’s account of growing up with an alcoholic mother who beat, starved, stabbed, burnt and force-fed ammonia to him. “Inspirational memoirs”, the polite term for this type of book, now account for nine per cent of the British book market, shifting 1.9 million copies a year and generating £24 million of revenue for the publishing industry.
I’m embarrassed that I failed to see this coming. For years I’ve hated television because it’s little more than emotional porn for women. But this misery lit offers precisely the same rush of tears and Elendfreude that keeps ER on the air.