Lesbian Pulp Fiction: The Sexually Intrepid World of Lesbian Paperback Novels 1950-1965 [NOOK Book]

Overview


Long before the rise of the modern gay movement, an unnoticed literary revolution was occurring between the covers of the cheaply produced lesbian pulp paperbacks of the post–World War II era. In 1950, publisher Fawcett Books founded its Gold Medal imprint, inaugurating the reign of lesbian pulp fiction. These were the books that small-town lesbians and prurient men bought by the millions — cheap, easy to find in drugstores, and immediately recognizable by their lurid covers. For women leading straight lives, ...
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Lesbian Pulp Fiction: The Sexually Intrepid World of Lesbian Paperback Novels 1950-1965

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Overview


Long before the rise of the modern gay movement, an unnoticed literary revolution was occurring between the covers of the cheaply produced lesbian pulp paperbacks of the post–World War II era. In 1950, publisher Fawcett Books founded its Gold Medal imprint, inaugurating the reign of lesbian pulp fiction. These were the books that small-town lesbians and prurient men bought by the millions — cheap, easy to find in drugstores, and immediately recognizable by their lurid covers. For women leading straight lives, here was confirmation that they were not alone and that darkly glamorous, "gay" places like Greenwich Village existed. Some — especially those written by lesbians — offered sympathetic and realistic depictions of "life in the shadows," while others (no less fun to read now) were smutty, sensational tales of innocent girls led astray. In the overheated prose typical of the genre, this collection documents the emergence of a lesbian subculture in postwar America.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573444866
  • Publisher: Cleis Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2005
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 440
  • Sales rank: 1,074,426
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Katherine V. Forrest is the author of 15 novels including Hancock Park, Curious Wine, and Daughters of a Coral Dawn. She is twice winner of the Lambda Literary Award for best mystery: for The Beverly Malibu and Murder by Tradition, both part of the Kate Delafield series. She has two books due to be published in 2005, Daughters of an Emerald Dusk (Alyson) and the anthology Women of Mystery (Alice Street Editions). A winner of the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Pioneer Award, Katherine Forrest lives in San Francisco.
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2006

    Midwest Book Review: December 2006

    Once upon a time, the multitude of lesbians lived closeted, secret lives, isolated from others and often from their own true feelings and aspirations. There was no Internet, no gay radio, no magazine or journal or organization to turn to for affirmation. Until the 1950s, precious few books reflected anything at all about the lesbian experience. This changed in 1950 when Fawcett Publications inaugurated the Gold Medal imprint and kicked off a wave of pulp fiction publishing that included both gay and lesbian novels. For the first time in history, women could find cheap paperbacks featuring lesbians, and the books sold in the millions. Pulp novels constituted one of the first steps toward lesbians having a written presence in any kind of literature. As Katherine V. Forrest writes in the introduction to LESBIAN PULP FICTION: 'The importance of all our pulp fiction novels cannot possibly be overstated. Whatever their negative images or messages, they told us we were not alone. Because they told us about each other, they led us to look for and find each other, they led us to the end of the isolation that had divided and conquered us. And once we found each other, once we began to question the judgments made of us, our civil rights movement was born,' (p. xviii).####### In moving style, Forrest also writes of finding in 1957 a copy of Ann Bannon's ODD GIRL OUT, 'a book as necessary to me as air' (p. ix). How fitting that Forrest should edit this wonderful homage to these early writers when her own works are frequently cited as having the same effect upon other women as Bannon's work had upon her. CURIOUS WINE (1983) is frequently cited by lesbians as a book that saved their lives. I believe it when Forrest writes, 'I write my books out of the profound wish that no one will ever have to be there again' (p. ix). To spotlight those early pulp novels, Forrest has selected twenty-two excerpts by nineteen authors including Ann Bannon, Vin Packer, Paula Christian, Tereska Torres, Valerie Taylor, and Marion Zimmer Bradley writing as Miriam Gardner. Among reasons for selecting these particular excerpts, Forrest cites pioneering status, sexual content, happy endings, reflections of the times, and quality of writing. Many of these books have been reprinted (several by Cleis Press), and with a little diligence, all of them can be located and purchased. Each of them is well worth reading in its entirety, but this wonderful collection will provide hours of delight and enjoyment to anyone willing to enter into the sexually intrepid world of lesbian paperback novels. An essential text for all libraries, both private and public, this book is highly recommended.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A great resource and time capsule

    This book contains excerpts from several lesbian pulps from 1950-1965 as selected by Katherine V. Forrest. I bought it as a resource for a research paper on lesbian pulps from this time period. Some of these books are pretty hard to find, so this book allows a look into some of the text. Forrest's introduction does a pretty good job of providing an overview of the conditions of the time that these books originally came out. The cover of this book is a little ridiculous, just like the original pulp covers were. If you want to look at the language of the pulps, then this is a great resource for you. If you're looking to read full pulps or essays on pulps, then this is probably not the best way to go.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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