Not just chick lit: How contemporary fiction conveys crisis communications (Review of Damage Control by Denise Hamilton)


  • Stephanie Brooks Carleton University



crisis communications, public relations, literature, fiction,


A review and critique of Denise Hamilton’s work of fiction, Damage Control (Scribner, 2011, 384 pages). This analysis shares insight on some of the novel’s overriding themes of journalism, gender and ethics and their relationship with crisis communications. Through an examination of the main character, it reveals the differences and similarities between Hamilton’s version of celebrity crisis management and representations of the field in popular culture. The novel portrays a version of perception management that is difficult, dirty and dangerous, but deeply satisfying – a concept that differs from what film and television depictions prove. Hamilton’s riveting and page-turning work piques readers’ curiosity into a murder mystery that involves politics, secrecy, relationships, rape and the strategies the female protagonist uses in her responsibility to reduce the damage.

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