The expression chick noir describes a type of novel which usually has a female author, features strong female protagonists and is written with women as its target audience, but unlike the classically 'girlie' topics of love, romance and domestic humor, focuses on 'dark' themes – betrayal, murder, and even horror.
This is a new wave of writing in which there's no happy ending, child-rearing or emotional journey of unrequited love, but rather crime, mystery, plot twists and intrigue – psychological thrillers in the truest sense. These stories are typically nestled between book covers which have swapped pastels, ethereal decoration and dreamy window-gazers for black, broken glass, and the faces of petrified females. Predictably, and in true 'chick' style, these stories usually have some kind of relationship at their core, and for this reason are sometimes described as marriage thrillers, often based on the idea that those closest to us might be harboring dark and unpleasant secrets.
The expression chick noir takes inspiration from the earlier term chick lit, which first appeared in the early nineties to describe a genre of novels designed to appeal to women, usually written by women and with female protagonists. The male equivalent is lad lit, and there have been further spin-offs too, such as gran lit for older female readers. Chick flick is the popular term for chick lit's movie counterpart. (Source: macmillandictionary.com)
Chick noir这个表达的灵感来源于上世纪九十年代初期出现的一个词chick lit，即由女性作者写的以女性为主角且面向女性的小说——女性文学。与其对应的男性文学为lad lit，其他衍生词还有gran lit，即老年女性文学。Chick flick则是指女性电影。