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Women In The Shadows (Beebo Brinker #3)

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  240 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Designated the "Queen of Lesbian Pulp" for her series of landmark novels beginning in 1957, Ann Bannon defined lesbian fiction for the pre-Stonewall generation. Following the release of Cleis Press's new editions of Beebo Brinker and Odd Girl Out, Women in the Shadows finds Laura in love among the lesbian bohemia of Greenwich Village. This edition features a new introducti ...more
Published by Naiad Press (first published 1959)
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This was the darkest one probably out of the Beebo Brinker chronicles. A really deep sobering look into the chemistry of a disintegrating relationship, all that goes into it and all the ways one escapes such a thing. The ending was sad in its finality and its message, but quite appropriate for the time the story takes places in. Though the book tended to dive into high dramatics now and again, it was also surprisingly serious and offered much insight to the innerworkings of human mind and heart. ...more
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I think this is the most controversial of Brannon's pulp novels. It has the gay guy and the lesbian marrying as the gay guy realises he no longer wants to have his heart broken but wants to have a daughter instead. It was a very dark and sad book. There was a lot of internalised homophobia, even from the characters that had been accepting of their situation. When the gay guy married he said he finally felt like "a man" because he had a wife. It was odd to see how they settled into their 50s ster ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Women in the Shadows, by ann Bannon, Narrated by Kate Rudd, produced by Cleis Press and downloaded from

In this, the third book in the chronicles, we continue to follow Laura as she experiments with and learns about love through various relationships. The dominant and darkest one was with Beebo Brinker, who was so desperate to hang on to Laura that she kept track of her every move, abused her and finally did other things to try to keep Laura in the relationship. Also in this book, we
Diamond Stacey
I very much enjoyed this book and all the books in the series.
Awesome cover art. Love the pulp revival movement.
Dichotomy Girl
OMG, these characters are all manipulative sociopaths. I guess that's what makes it fun reading??
This book is hella traumatic. I had to put it down for a moment several times. Not really what I thought I was getting into. I only finished it because it seemed like I needed the context in order to read the next book.

It's interesting as a primer in how homophobia can make gay people destroy themselves without straight people having to lift a finger. (Domestic violence, alcoholism, self-hatred... what fun!)

Mostly, though, Laura is too stupid to believe.
Hey Sailor!
Every character does so many problematic things i don't know where to begin - marriage by blackmail, extremely abusive relationships, co-dependency, animal abuse, alcoholism. This is a pulp novel though and not a page goes by when the main protagonist doesn't declare her undying love for someone. I don't know why, in a book full of problems, I was most annoyed by Tish's self-hate and racial identity issues. There is enough self-loathing to go around.
Reading the afterward clears up the author's intentions a bit. But still, this wasn't as good as others I've read. It felt a bit like sweeps week. She pulls out every possible catastrophe or cheap trick and it ends up being dark and a little tedious at points. Interracial relationships, straight marriages between gay people, rape, murder, alcoholism.... and more.
This was thankfully the last of the series. I wanted to read it to get a sense of what sorts of fiction women had available to them back in the '50's and early 60's. I'm glad I read them but I can't say I enjoyed it. Worthwhile historically, but it's hard for a modern audience to relate.
I would give this 2 stars out of solidarity, but the fact of the matter is, even with lesbian pulp of the 1950s, I have no patience for total heteronormativity and crazily depressing characterisation.
A little time capsule from queer life before liberation. Overwrought and dated in a pulp sort of way, but delightful and fun both in spite of AND because of those qualities.
This one was mostly depressing, and the part about Nix was really disturbing, but I <3 Jack so it wasn't a total loss.
Had to read this for a Gender Identity in Literature class in college.
Miriam Cronin
Not as good as the earlier books but still a good book from Bannon.
Sarah Jane Thomas
just a little pulp fiction. just a whole lota of melo-drama.
Great pulp. A quick and delightful read.
I must admit that this is one of Bannon's - and indeed, that of any other author - most difficult books I have ever read. Sometimes... most of the time, actually... what we wish would happen just doesn't and it's not in our power to change it, and it's heartbreaking. This book illustrates this reality in painful terms.

I read it first, agonized because I love these characters so much, because it's clear that Bannon loved them so much too. When I read it again a couple years later, I realized I wa
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Ann Bannon (pseudonym of Ann Weldy) is an American author and academic. She is known for her lesbian pulp novels, which comprise The Beebo Brinker Chronicles and earned her the title "Queen of Lesbian Pulp Fiction."

Bannon was featured in the documentaries Before Stonewall (1984) and Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives (1992)
More about Ann Bannon...

Other Books in the Series

Beebo Brinker (5 books)
  • Beebo Brinker
  • Odd Girl Out
  • I Am a Woman
  • Journey to a Woman
Odd Girl Out Beebo Brinker I Am a Woman Journey to a Woman The Beebo Brinker Chronicles

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