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The Vintage Book of International Lesbian Fiction

Overview

A groundbreaking volume from Lamda Award-winning editors Naomi Holoch and Joan Nestle, The Vintage Book of International  Lesbian Fiction presents a range of literary voices--from twenty-seven countries spanning six continents--and offers glimpses of lesbian life in unfamilar, often exotic climes.

We follow an Irish woman as she travels through time in search of a wronged maiden, and anticipate the harrowing fate of a married Indian woman who pursues pleasure with her ...

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Overview

A groundbreaking volume from Lamda Award-winning editors Naomi Holoch and Joan Nestle, The Vintage Book of International  Lesbian Fiction presents a range of literary voices--from twenty-seven countries spanning six continents--and offers glimpses of lesbian life in unfamilar, often exotic climes.

We follow an Irish woman as she travels through time in search of a wronged maiden, and anticipate the harrowing fate of a married Indian woman who pursues pleasure with her female lover under the shadow of her husbands suspicious rage.  We meet a teacher in Barcelona who locks herself up in her grandmother's house with her young Columbian student, and witness a Slovenian woman's rendezvous with her long dead lover.

This collection includes the work of familiar writers, as well as a number never before published in English.  From the West Indies to Eastern Europe, the Middle East to Southeast Asia, Latin America to South Africa, the distinctive stories found in these pages evoke the diverse political, cultural, emotional, and sexual landscapes of each writer's life.  A groundbreaking volume from the Lamda Award-winning editors Naomi Holoch and Joan Nestle, who also wrote the introduction, this collections evokes the universal urgency of persistent desire.

Table of Contents:
Mary Dorcey, Ireland from A Noise from the WoodshedMakeda Sivera, JamaicaCaribbean ChameleonMireille Best, FranceStéphanie's BookChristina Peri Rossi, UruguayFinal Judgement and Singing in the DesertShani Mootoo, India-Trinidad-CanadaLemon ScentMarguerite Yourcenar, BelgiumSappho or SuicideEmma Donoghue, IrelandLooking for PetronillaSylvia Molloy, Argentinafrom Certificate of AbsenceDale Gunthorp, South AfricaGypsophilaKaren Williams, South AfricaThe Came at DawnCynthia Price, South AfricaLesbian BedroomsAlifa Rifaat, EgyptMy World of the UnknownYasmin V. Tambiah, Sri LankaThe Civil War, Sandalwood, Transl(iter)ation I, and Transl(iter)ation II (for Aruna and Giti)Dionne Brand, TrinidadMadame Alaird's BreastsViolette Leduc, Francefrom L'AphyxieAnchee Min, ChinafromRed AzaleaGerd Brantenberg, Norwayfrom Four WindsEsther Tusquets, Spainfrom The Same Sea as Every SummerKaren-Susan Fessel, GermanyLost FacesMar$#237;a Eugenia Alegría Nuñez, CubaThe Girl Typist Who Worked for a Provincial Ministry of CultureNgahuia Te Awekatuku, Aotearoa/New ZealandParetipua, Old Man Tuna, andWatching the Big GirlsDacia Maraini, ItalyfromLetters to MarinaRosamaría Roffiel, MexicoForever Lasts Only a Full MoonAnna Blaman, Hollandfrom Lonely AdventureChrista Winsloe, Germanyfrom The Child ManuelaAchy Obejas, CubaWatersNicole Brossard, CanadafromMauve DesertGila Svirsky, IsraelMeeting NataliaMaureen Duffy, EnglandfromThe MicrocosmJeanne D'Arc Jutras, Canadafrom GeorgieSuzana Tratnik, SloveniaUnder the Ironwood TreesElena Georgiou, CyprusAphrodite's VisionEtel Adnan, Lebanonfrom In the Heart of the Heart of Another CountryGina Schein, AustraliaMinnie Gets Married

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With more than 35 selections, this anthology is notable for the insight it offers into cultures across the globe and the attitudes of various societies toward women in general and lesbians in particular. Several contributors approach the idea of homosexuality as the forbidden fruit via supernatural means. In one of the most ambitious and successful pieces, Egyptian writer Alifa Rifaat describes a prominent married woman's mystical and sensual liaison with a female snake, a "monarch of the djinn," weaving in religious allusions alongside domestic details. Emma Donoghue's haunting "Looking for Petronilla" explores issues of class disparity and fierce loyalty in Ireland as a woman travels back through time to search for a wronged bondswoman. Others evoke raw desire, as in "Madame Alaird's Breasts," by Trinidadian-born Dionne Brand, a meditation on a French teacher's voluptuous figure by her adolescent girl students, and the more understated excerpt from St phanie's Book by French writer Mireille Best, an atmospheric scene in which a married woman is seduced by her son's teacher. Informative prefaces set each piece in the context of the writer's work and culture. What characterizes this wide-ranging assemblage of selections is the universal struggle of each character to be her own woman in her own time. (June) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679759522
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/28/1999
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Naomi Holoch is co-editor, with Jon Nestle, of the Women on Women series of anthologies of American lesbian short fiction and the author of short stories and a novel, Offseason.  She teaches French language and literature, lesbian and gay fiction, and fiction writing at SUNY-Purchase.

Joan Nestle, author of the award-winning A Restricted Country and A Fragile Union and editor of The Persistent Desire: A Femme-Butch Reader, is also co-founder of the New York-based Lesbian Herstory Archives.  Along with Naomi Holoch, she has edited three volumes of Women on Women anthologies.  She also had the honor of working with John Preston on Sister and Brother: Lesbians and Gay Men Talk about Their Lives Together.  In 1996 she was awarded the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement in Lesbian and Gay Literature by the Publishing Triangle. For close to thirty years, she taught writing in the SEEK Program at Queens College, CUNY.

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Table of Contents


Mary Dorcey, Ireland
from
A Noise from the Woodshed

Makeda Sivera, Jamaica
Caribbean Chameleon

Mireille Best, France
Stéphanie’s Book

Christina Peri Rossi, Uruguay
Final Judgement and Singing in the Desert

Shani Mootoo, India-Trinidad-Canada
Lemon Scent

Marguerite Yourcenar, Belgium
Sappho or Suicide

Emma Donoghue, Ireland
Looking for Petronilla

Sylvia Molloy, Argentina from Certificate of Absence

Dale Gunthorp, South Africa
Gypsophila

Karen Williams, South Africa
The Came at Dawn

Cynthia Price, South Africa
Lesbian Bedrooms

Alifa Rifaat, Egypt
My World of the Unknown

Yasmin V. Tambiah, Sri Lanka
The Civil War, Sandalwood, Transl(iter)ation I, and
Transl(iter)ation II (for Aruna and Giti)

Dionne Brand, Trinidad
Madame Alaird’s Breasts

Violette Leduc, France from L'Aphyxie

Anchee Min, China from Red Azalea

Gerd Brantenberg, Norway from Four Winds

Esther Tusquets, Spain from The Same Sea as Every Summer

Karen-Susan Fessel, Germany
Lost Faces

María Eugenia Alegría Nuñez, Cuba
The Girl Typist Who Worked for a Provincial Ministry of Culture

Ngahuia Te Awekatuku, Aotearoa/New Zealand
Paretipua, Old Man Tuna, and
Watching the Big Girls

Dacia Maraini, Italy from Letters to Marina

Rosamaría Roffiel, Mexico
Forever Lasts Only a Full Moon

Anna Blaman, Holland from Lonely Adventure

Christa Winsloe, Germany from The Child Manuela

Achy Obejas, Cuba
Waters

Nicole Brossard, Canada from Mauve Desert

Gila Svirsky, Israel
Meeting Natalia

Maureen Duffy, England from The Microcosm

Jeanne D’Arc Jutras, Canada from Georgie

Suzana Tratnik, Slovenia
Under the Ironwood Trees

Elena Georgiou, Cyprus
Aphrodite’s Vision

Etel Adnan, Lebanon from In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country

Gina Schein, Australia
Minnie Gets Married

Bibliography
Suggested Additional Reading
Acknowledgements
Permissions Acknowledgements

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