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Lesbian Pulp Fiction: The Sexually Intrepid World of Lesbian Paperback Novels, 1950-1965

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3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  169 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 440 pages
Published May 19th 2005 by Cleis Press (first published May 10th 2005)
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Beebo Brinker by Ann BannonOdd Girl Out by Ann BannonI Am a Woman by Ann BannonWomen in the Shadows by Ann BannonLesbian Pulp Fiction by Katherine V. Forrest
Lesbian pulp fiction
5th out of 48 books — 9 voters
Beyond Heaving Bosoms by Sarah WendellReading the Romance by Janice A. RadwayA Natural History of the Romance Novel by Pamela RegisThe Glass Slipper by Susan Ostrov WeisserWomen and Romance by Susan Ostrov Weisser
Nonfiction About Romance Fiction
15th out of 46 books — 10 voters


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Paul
Jun 20, 2015 Paul rated it really liked it
Despite the lurid cover, this is a collection of romantic stories about lesbian love in a time when lesbianism was considered a perversion. It details how a lesbian couple had to walk a half-block away from each other to avert suspicion, how sometimes a lesbian would be humiliated by approaching another woman she guessed to be lesbian, only to be told she was straight and rebuffed harshly. The stories are mainly well-written excerpts of pulp novels from 1950-1965, which was, perhaps curiously, f ...more
Nick
Sep 27, 2014 Nick rated it it was amazing
This is an interesting book; I enjoyed it a lot even though I'm not really the target audience. The editor describes finding one of these novels in 1957 as "as necessary to me as air"; Since that doesn't apply to me I found it to be more of an interesting collection of curios.
For being pulp paperbacks from the 50's and early 60's I was surprised at how good most of the writing is (and it's nowhere near as lurid as the cover might suggest) - Forrest's careful selection runs the gamut, although m
...more
Erica
Aug 17, 2009 Erica rated it liked it
Soozee recently gave me this book for my birthday -- good so far. I really enjoyed the introduction (I usually despise and always skip over them) that detailed the history of some of the authors. For example...M.E. Kerr anyone? A pretty famous young adult author who wrote mystery, crime and lesbian pulp under the name Vin Packer. Interesting.
Dora
Mar 25, 2010 Dora rated it liked it
Very exciting, but just don't do it! It's a book full of excerpts that offer no conclusions or resolve. I thought this was a compilation of unabridged novels, a la Richard Brautigan. The individual titles are hard to find, but worth the trouble if you don't like random chapters from 20 different books.
Lissa
Lesbian pulp fiction intrigues me. There's something...different...about these books from the fifties and sixties. Some of them are poorly written, and many of them have unrealistic parts to them, but still, the books are important to our queer history and culture. They're like mini-time capsules, and every time I finish reading one, I find myself thankful that I live in the present.

Katherine V. Forrest's introduction is worth the price of the book alone, in my opinion. I am queer in a rural ar
...more
Kathleen Hagen
Lesbian Pulp Fiction: The Sexually Intrepid World of Lesbian Paperback Novels, 1950 to 1965, edited by Katherine V. Forrest, Narrated by Madison Vaughn, Produced by Audible Inc., downloaded from audible.com.

The Publisher’s note explains this title as well as I can.
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 it
...more
Judy!
Feb 22, 2008 Judy! rated it liked it
the most interesting part in this anthology of early lesbian paperbacks is that the editor includes text from the original paperbacks' front and back--copy about the "depraved" women inside and how reading this story will teach everyone about the "condition" of lesbianism and help us to learn to better combat it. basically, as the editor points out, the more hateful the cover copy, the juicier the lesbian relations inside...sort of.

as a social picture of the space lesbians were relegated to at
...more
Mirrordance
Oct 12, 2015 Mirrordance marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Dopo i primi 4/5 racconti... ho abbandonato. Prendo atto del genere e dei tempi in cui si è sviluppato. Forse un racconto per volta può anche essere sopportabile ma tutti in fila no. Troppo simili, troppo pulp.
Forse negli anni '50 e '60 solo trovare accennata l'esistenza di lesbiche in narrativa era una grande conquista ma questi romanzetti tra l'harmony ed il fotoromanzo sono decisamente tyristi. C'è poco spessore anche se spesso riflettono il sentire del tempo e quindi la sofferenza nello sco
...more
Cliff Harrison
Jun 01, 2015 Cliff Harrison rated it it was amazing
One of the primary reason I wanted this book was because it had Lawrence Block's early writing among the stories. Block began his writing career writing erotica and although this book published other now famous writers who used pen names to disguise their early work I was not able to identify them.
Wendy
Aug 07, 2011 Wendy rated it liked it
What a great overview! I read Odd Girl Out in its entirety a few years ago and was pretty disappointed - not much of what I'd hoped for from a pulp: good setting/feel for the time period and lots of sex; it is really pretty formulaic. So this overview was a nice surprise.
Some of the selections in this book are pretty bad,but most are not. They're often interesting explorations of women coming to terms with their sexuality in mid-20th century America and some have a really fantastic sense of plac
...more
Jenny Yates
Apr 25, 2009 Jenny Yates rated it really liked it
This anthology (lesbian paperback fiction from 1950 – 1965) is worth reading both for its historical value and, often, for the writing itself. I came out in the 80s, so I missed all this, and it was quite fascinating to become acquainted with such famous characters as Beebo Brinker. I was mesmerized.

Prevailing social beliefs are revealed – and you can see how they change in the fifteen years that are represented – but the characters themselves are motivated by love and desire. Even when they ar
...more
Chris
Aug 30, 2015 Chris rated it liked it
A bit of historical reading- and totally grateful its 2015.
Tama Wise
Jun 09, 2007 Tama Wise rated it really liked it
Ah nothing better than short story collections, where you can pick and choose. Nothing better than pulp fiction! This is a collection of excerpts from lesbian paperback novels, and it makes for amusing reading if nothing else. A great insight into how lesbians were seen or dealt with in fiction back in the 50s.

"I don't want this life for you! I'm wicked!"
JKR
Apr 15, 2013 JKR rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book, it truly points one into the direction of classic lesbian pulp fiction. Although I have read most of the books that the excerpts were taken from, there were a few that I was pleased to have brought to my attention. I am grateful for those brave authors who produced such works that at times would whisper to one, "you are not alone".
Sara
Dec 23, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
A survey of lesbian pulp told in excerpts, a few of which I'd read in their entirety (The Girls in 3B and the Beebo Brinker series). Five stars for the superb forward by Katherine V. Forrest. Despite the moral policing in their endings (thankfully not included here), they're an interesting glimpse into gay life in the 50s and 60s.
JoyfulK
Jul 11, 2011 JoyfulK marked it as to-read
How delightful to find this on the public library shelves! So far I am riveted by Forrest's excellent historical/critical essay, and haven't even gotten to the fiction yet.
Liz Eudy
Jan 08, 2013 Liz Eudy rated it it was amazing
This was extraordinarily interesting for me. It was like a window into a world I never imagined. So glad I wasn't born earlier!
Georgia
Jan 25, 2013 Georgia rated it really liked it
An eye opening overview.
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Katherine V. Forrest is the groundbreaking author of Curious Wine, the Kate Delafield mystery series and the Daughters science-fiction series. She’s also known as a prolific editor with anthology and non-fiction credits in her own name as well as the editor of hundreds of novels. Dozens of lesbian writers count her among their mentors. Selected as the 2009 recipient of the Publishing Triangle’s Bi ...more
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