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Beebo Brinker (Beebo Brinker prequel)

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  870 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
A “prequel” to the preceding tales. Although it was written last in the series, this story brings Beebo from the hayfields of Wisconsin to New York’s Greenwich Village. She arrives a very young and uncertain girl, but by the end of the story, we see the emergence of the dashing young butch she will become. Along the way there are beautiful girls to explore and a sparkling ...more
Paperback, 233 pages
Published May 16th 2001 by Cleis Press (first published 1962)
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Beebo Brinker by Ann BannonThe Night Watch by Sarah WatersBoyfriends with Girlfriends by Alex   SanchezStone Butch Blues by Leslie FeinbergTessa Masterson Will Go to Prom by Brendan Halpin
Butch lesbian characters
1st out of 31 books — 11 voters
Beebo Brinker by Ann BannonOdd Girl Out by Ann BannonSpring Fire by Vin PackerA World Without Men by Valerie TaylorTwilight Girl by Della  Martin
Lesbian pulp fiction
1st out of 48 books — 8 voters

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Community Reviews

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Cheyenne Blue
Jan 13, 2014 Cheyenne Blue rated it really liked it
Shelves: glbtq

“Beebo Brinker” is described as ‘lesbian pulp fiction’. Written in 1962 by Ann Bannon, it is a prequel to the immensely popular series featuring this character. The series is one huge stepping stone along the path of gay and lesbian acceptance in the community.

It’s hard to know how to approach this review. Do I treat it solely as a reading experience, from my present day perspective? Do I give weight to its social and historical significance? Do I allow my emotions and heart to weigh in and give
Apr 15, 2013 Bandit rated it really liked it
Published chronologically last, Beebo Brinker is technically the prequel to the chronicles, set about 15 years back from the events of Women in Shadows. We get to meet Beebo when is young and inexperienced and watch her find herself in NY and become comfortable with her identity. It's fascinating, because she is such a far cry from the Beebo Brinker at the end of Women in Shadows, and it's really interesting for the reader to get such a well rounded sense of the character's journey. Some great c ...more
Jul 19, 2009 Audrey rated it really liked it
Before I chose a topic for my thesis, my seminar professor suggested focusing on lesbian pulp fiction. My reading list would have been vastly different, but I also don't think I would have found a topic. Beebo Brinker was a bit over-the-top, but that's the pulp fiction part.

It's interesting to think that by the standards of its time, the novel was considered obscene — the descriptions don't really go beyond people passionately kissing each other's hands and faces.
Jan 14, 2010 Taylor rated it it was ok
This is a lesbian pulp novel from the 60s, one I am reading for a queer writing course. I was surprised by the fact it wasn't terrible prose, however, that happy surprise was mitigated by characterization that's impossible to believe. Character motivations seem false, and there are three (three!) instances of love at first sight that are not earned or believable. Also, honestly, for a book whose main purpose is to titillate, there should really be more sex.
Jan 06, 2011 Lisa rated it liked it
I used this book for the gay/lesbian literature course this semester. It is a great representative of pulp fiction popular at the time. The students really liked it, but I worried that they took it way too literally. Romance novels are not popular with young people today, and so they don't have the filter developed to truly understand the fantasy aspect of this genre. It was a fun read, and I'm glad I included it in the class.
Anna Call
Oct 05, 2010 Anna Call rated it really liked it
I liked this because I wanted a quick, fun, pulpy dyke drama full of sex, heartbreak and romantic reunion. There's a bit of that old-school homo angst mixed in, but it's not much worse than tragical stylings of other romantic stereotypes.
If mainstream romance novelists wrote for lesbians, they might do well enough to write more like this.
Dec 10, 2012 Mel rated it it was amazing
I can't believe I've not found these books earlier. I was so excited when I heard about this book a week ago I had to buy a copy immediately. Lesbian pulp fiction set in the 50s beat New York scene, could a more perfect book have been written for me? I ordered my copy from Amazon and did a bit of research on the author. Apparently she was a sorority girl who got married after college and then realised, a little too late, that perhaps she wanted something else, and started to write pulp stories a ...more
City of Villages
Mar 09, 2015 City of Villages rated it really liked it
I viewed this more as a historical document than a proper novel, a snapshot into a time period when gay and bi people had to deal with not only a hostile, dangerous society, but also had to deal with a lot of internalised hatred and generalisations. I also partly read it as a parody of 1950s gay stereotypes (though I know it's being sincere), which made it more palatable and infinitely more hilarious.

There were more than a few eyebrow raising/'lol, wut' moments- the description of Beebo's butchn
Oct 22, 2012 Andy rated it liked it
Shelves: queer-essentials
Really wanted to get into Beebo but it's sadly not my style. I think this book has potential appeal for many readers though, and I really don't intend here to discourage anyone from approaching this material. As a piece of queer historical literature this book is arguably essential. As a reader currently in my twenties I think I'm either too young or have completely missed an era where the comedy in Beebo's highly dramatic love spells jumps off the page for me. At times the drama gets tedious, a ...more
Feb 21, 2011 Elise rated it liked it
This "lesbian pulp fiction" was published in 1962. Eighteen year old Beebo arrives in New York after running away from her father's farm in Indiana. She arrives in Greenwich Village and meets Jack Mann, who is immediately drawn to her handsome good looks. She lives with Jack, who is gay, and who slowly draws her "out." She meets Mona, Paula Ash, Venus Bogardus. Moves to Hollywood, gets into trouble, moves back and ends up with Paula. THe sex is quite tame from today's standards.
Sep 19, 2007 Marissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: lesbian-lit
I finally read Beebo Brinker! Yes! I think my favorite part of the book was the relationship between Jack and Beebo. She writes their easy friendship better than she writes some of the lesbian relationships. Thus, it starts out really well when she's a baby dyke and then sort of tends toward harlequin silliness later. It was pretty revolutionary for it's time, however, and it's refreshing to read Bannon's adoring descriptions of Beebo's butch-ness.
Mar 26, 2014 J.C. rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt-lit, romance, pulp
I don't think I've ever read a real pulp novel before, so this was a first for me in that regard. And apparently, the author was a professor at my current university (a bit of trivia in every review, that's how I roll), which I guess is kinda cool.

But it's not that great of a novel, nor is it very "sensational", which I guess defines a book as "pulp". I wonder what an author edition would look like, since I get a slight feeling it's been cotton-mouthed to comply with 1950's standards. But reall
Enna Bri
Apr 25, 2014 Enna Bri rated it it was amazing
When I picked up Beebo Brinker, I expected a coming-out while coming-of-age novel about a young lesbian, set in an era I know little about. What I discovered, however, is an involved, practically modern story about a young woman not only coming to terms with her identity as a lesbian after being ousted by her small town (still an issue these days), but struggling with a possible transexual identity. There is, of course, a lot of text dedicated to the passions and romances of a naive young person ...more
Sean Amber
Interesantísimo ejemplo de pulp lésbico publicado en 1962 y que ya presenta, con ciertas limitaciones propias de la época, una visión muy normalizadora de la homosexualidad, tanto femenina como masculina. Apenas hay personajes decididamente negativos, e incluso éstos están lejos de la caricatura de serie B o del estereotipo villanesco de novela sensacionalista, y se hace un retrato amable de la comunidad gay y lésbica del Village donde se ve más solidaridad y apoyo mutuo que drama. Como defecto ...more
Aug 05, 2011 Gaije rated it really liked it
I love, love, love, this whole series. The characters, for the most part, feel so real, and grow and develop, or regress, throughout the series.

And, if I recall correctly, there's plenty of superhot supersexytime. Just, you know, if you're into that kind of thing.
Kit Fox
Sep 04, 2009 Kit Fox rated it really liked it
The second Beebo Brinker book—say that 17 times fast—definitely ups the stakes a bit. We got some hot 'n' tawdry Greenwich Village action, a jealous beatnik-ish vamp, a sultry movie queen, and even a bit of cross-country jet-setting. Long story short, it's a very good time.
Levi Amichai
I was not expecting to enjoy this nearly as much as I did; thus I give it 5 stars for blowing my expectations out of the water vs. 3.5-4 stars it deserves as a book in general.

I want to read more lesbian pulp novels; I hope this isn't going to set my expectations too high.
Apr 03, 2008 Jill rated it liked it
ah, pulp fiction. i couldn't put it down, partly because there are no chapter breaks but also because it's pure baby dyke greenwich village 1950s cliched but nevertheless compelling drama.... but i also can't justify more than 3 stars.
Jan 05, 2011 Shannon rated it liked it
Shelves: filth, amusing
The Ann Bannon books are pretty good, though the characters are all tits. I keep seeing these now in their new editions in the bookstores. Obv lesbian pulp fiction is COOL now. Way to go Kurtman.
Feb 22, 2008 Mary rated it really liked it
Cliche and cheesy for sure, but I ate it up. I mean, it has movie-starlet-on-butch scenes! Granted its all very tame by current standards, but lesbian drama is timeless.
Jan 06, 2009 Julia rated it really liked it
Lezzie pulp fiction - but what makes it really fun and a good read is the tone.
Sort of like the dialogue you would hear in old film noir; that just made it fun!
Apr 20, 2008 angela rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, queer
This book was great fun to read! It's a quick little read, very melodramatic - it felt a bit like a lesbian soap opera, but it was a very satisfying one!
Eleni Diamantopoulos
Aug 29, 2007 Eleni Diamantopoulos rated it it was amazing
I read this so long ago... but sometimes I will see a big tall strapping dyke and think about Beebo Brinker. I guess it made an impression on me.
Jemiah Jefferson
Apr 04, 2012 Jemiah Jefferson rated it it was amazing
I am about 25 pages in, and I am moved by the effortless and yet slightly gawky prose - so like its protagonist?
Aug 09, 2008 lmc rated it really liked it
Good one - not quite as good as Odd Girl out, though. Fun re-releases, glad they are issuing them.
Mar 21, 2009 Bridget rated it really liked it
Racier than others I've read. Quick and happily ended.
Aug 04, 2011 Cathy rated it liked it
Shelves: queer
Fascinating as a portrait of its times.
Jul 01, 2012 Mary rated it it was ok
An interesting cultural artifact.
Dec 08, 2008 Caty rated it liked it
THE original lesbocheese.
Oct 06, 2015 Samantha rated it it was amazing
Beebo Brinker is a lesbian pulp fiction novel, set in Greenwich Village, New York during the 50's-60s time frame. When looking into this book I thought that it just might be as lame as most lesbian movies. You know, they're all the same blah blah bullshit. However, Beebo Brinker, the character herself, seemed to suck me in right away.
As I got to know Beebo, I felt connected to her, no I never ran away to escape my problems, but I have wanted to. The way she felt about women and the way she felt
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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 (6 books)
  • Odd Girl Out
  • I Am a Woman
  • Women in the Shadows
  • Journey to a Woman
  • The Marriage

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“Maybe I grew up too fast, maybe that's my trouble. I feel so lost out here...hung up between two worlds; half-kid and half-adult, half-boy and half-girl. And sometimes it seems like I get the dirty side of both.” 10 likes
“It's not wrong, pal," he said to her back. "You've been brought up to think so. Most of us have. But who are they hurting? Nobody. They're just making each other happy. And you want their heads to roll because it makes you feel funny.” 5 likes
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