The Girls in 3-B

The Girls in 3-B

by Valerie Taylor
     
 

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Annice, Pat, and Barby are best friends from Iowa, freshly arrived in booming 1950s Chicago to explore different paths toward independence, self-expression, and sexual freedom. From the hip-hang of a bohemian lifestyle to the sophisticated lure of romance with a handsome, wealthy, married boss to the happier security of a lesbian relationship, these three experience…  See more details below

Overview

Annice, Pat, and Barby are best friends from Iowa, freshly arrived in booming 1950s Chicago to explore different paths toward independence, self-expression, and sexual freedom. From the hip-hang of a bohemian lifestyle to the sophisticated lure of romance with a handsome, wealthy, married boss to the happier security of a lesbian relationship, these three experience firsthand the dangers and limitations of women’s economic reliance on men. Lesbian pulp author Valerie Taylor skillfully paints a sociological portrait of the emotional and economic pitfalls of heterosexuality in 1950s America—and then offers a defiantly subversive alternative. A classic pulp tale showcasing predatory beatnik men, drug hallucinations, and secret lesbian trysts, The Girls in 3-B approaches the theme of sex from the stiffened vantage point of 1950s psychology.

Femmes Fatales restores to print the best of women’s writing in the classic pulp genres of the mid-20th century. From mystery to hard-boiled noir to taboo lesbian romance, these rediscovered queens of pulp offer subversive perspectives on a turbulent era. Enjoy the series: Bedelia; Bunny Lake Is Missing; By Cecile; The G-String Murders; The Girls in 3-B; Laura; The Man Who Loved His Wife; Mother Finds a Body; Now, Voyager; Return to Lesbos; Skyscraper; Stranger on Lesbos; Stella Dallas; Women's Barracks.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Originally published in 1959 and reissued as part of the Feminist Press's new Femme Fatale series of pulp fiction by women writers, this is genre literature with a few twists. Three young women move to Chicago and room together; each wants to emancipate herself from smalltown mores. Annice, a would-be poet, dreams of associating with the intelligentsia; Pat is a secretary in a publishing firm who develops a powerful attraction to her engaged boss; and Barby is a stunning shop clerk whose sexual desire for her supervisor-a female-takes her by surprise but ultimately enriches her life. Searching for their true identities in an era that values sanitized, middle-class, heterosexual conventions, the girls are faced with the classic choice between "good boys" and "bad boys." Annice is torn between nihilistic artist Alan and stable Midwesterner Jackson, who is studying to be a physicist; Pat must weigh Blake, her philandering boss, against Stan, a junior company man with a longstanding crush on her. The book's insights into issues like sexual abuse, infidelity, the corporate glass ceiling, drug experimentation (there is a wild three-page peyote trip that rivals some Beat writers' renditions) and sexual double standards (and how to manipulate them) are surprisingly modern, though two of the three protagonists eventually drift toward conventional happiness. This is a refreshing entry for the genre, mercifully devoid of the moralistic and cautionary elements common in much 1950s pulp. (Nov. 3) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
While most immediately relegate the shadowy world of pulp fiction to male authors, Feminist Press's new "Femmes Fatales: Women Write Pulp" series is reproducing several 1950s-era pulp novels penned by women. Complete with vintage noir covers, the books feature the tough men, sex-crazed women, drugs, booze, homosexuality, and other wonderfully sleazy trappings of the genre. Taylor's 1959 story follows three hayseed girls who come to the wicked city and quickly realize that they're not in Kansas anymore. So bad, it's good. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"A remarkable slice of bohemia from the 1950s. Valerie Taylor gives 'pulp' a good name and weaves a wondrous tale of love, lesbianism, poetry, and sex around three young women who leave their small town for the allure of the big city." —Jack Halberstam, author of Female Masculinity

"The Girls in 3-B will give you a sense of the dangers and delights of passion between women in another era. . . . Valerie Taylor's much-loved story has achieved well-deserved classic status in the lesbian pulp canon." —Ann Bannon, author of Odd Girl Out

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558617629
Publisher:
Feminist Press at CUNY, The
Publication date:
10/01/2012
Series:
Femmes Fatales Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
980,788
File size:
511 KB

Meet the Author

Valerie Taylor is the pen name of Velma Young, author of the lesbian pulp classics Whisper Their Love (1957), The Girls in 3-B (1959), World Without Men (1963), Journey to Fulfillment (1964), and Ripening (1988). With the $500 proceeds of her first novel, Hired Girl (1953), Taylor bought a pair of shoes, two dresses, and hired a divorce lawyer. After leaving her husband, she kicked off a prolific career as the author of pulp fiction novels, poetry (under the name of Nacella Young), and romances (under the name Francine Davenport). A long-time activist for gay and lesbian rights, she was a co-founder of Mattachine Midwest and the Lesbian Writers Conference in Chicago.

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