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Queer Pulp: Perverted Passions from the Golden Age of the Paperback

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  48 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
From homicidal homos to locked-up lesbians, and almost every sexually dangerous combination in between, Queer Pulp: Perverted Passions from the Golden Age of the Paperback is the first complete expose of queer sexuality in mid-twentieth century paperbacks. Compellingly written by historian Susan Stryker, Queer Pulp gives a complete overview of the cultural, political, and ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by Chronicle Books
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Jul 10, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing
I greatly enjoyed this short dive into pulp fiction. It's surprisingly inclusive when it comes to L, G, B, and T.
Hannah Givens
Jul 03, 2016 Hannah Givens rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, lgbt, history
A fun overview of pulp history, with a lot of great cover images. It's well suited to browsing, or as a coffee table book (for a certain sort of coffee table...) because there are pull-out quotes and captions with substantive information, so you can browse a bit and still take something away with you.

The content focus is on identity as seen through the pulps and their covers. One chapter each for L, G, B, and T (although the order is B, L, T, G, for no particular reason I could discern). That's
Sarah Crawford
Jan 16, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it it was amazing
Although the title of this book is Queer Pulp, it actually has nothing to do with pulp magazines. It is about the various paperbacks made of cheap paper and issued around the fifties and sixties.

It also uses a somewhat different definition of queer, not limiting the world to gays, lesbians, etc, but defining queer as basically anything sexual other than the standard heterosexual missionary position. The book notes that that was the basic definition in the time period of the paperbacks.

The book i
Diane Schneider
Jul 30, 2014 Diane Schneider rated it liked it
While this book had a lot of information about this genre, I felt it could benefit from some better organization. It would have been much more cohesive if the author had focused on the changes in publishing from the beginning to the end of the period, and discussed the societal reason s behind the progression. There are many beautiful pictures of the book covers, which is a delight since the cover art is half the fun.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I stumbled across this in the library catalogue when I was trying to find something else. The first part is an interesting overview of the history of the mass market paperback. The rest is a list with summaries of various, well, trashy paperbacks. Or to be fair, paperbacks with gay characters (usually, sometimes the perceived abnormality is in the form of being trans or a swinger or whatever), with varying levels of trashy content. If you're interested in GLBT history, or the history of sexualit ...more
Jun 15, 2014 Ruth-Ann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: glbt
Really thoroughly enjoyed this. Terrific illustrations, and Stryker's insights about this period of gay history / publishing history / general US history were very interesting indeed. I'm interested to read more of her work.
Jun 28, 2013 Nathan rated it really liked it
I was really hoping for a more in-depth exploration of how the books featured by this author fit in (or fought with) the surrounding cultural politics going on when they were released. While Queer Pulp certainly offered a unique starting point to "other" literature of the 1950s, it ultimately ended up being a bit too lightweight for actual serious study. The author also seemed to get tired toward the end, as evidenced by the remarkably slim coverage of specifically gay-themed paperbacks (which w ...more
Chad Schimke
Aug 01, 2012 Chad Schimke rated it really liked it
QUEER PULP – The title says it all. Queer Pulp: Perverted Passions from the Golden Age of the Paperback, by Susan Stryker, explores a wide range of the mid-century mass-market paperback. However, the concept of the gay lesbian ‘sleaze’ novel -prior to 1965 -was all about titillation not pornography; by today’s standards. In that light, the title is a bit misleading, because the book is an overview of the golden age of the paperback novel. At a time when that format was the chief literary form. P ...more
Jul 01, 2012 Mel rated it it was amazing
I saw this book in Paris in a used bookshop and it was quite expensive but I found a nice cheap copy on Amazon when I got back. I throughly enjoyed it. It's very well written by an author who knows her subject very well. She discusses the history of queer pulp paperbacks in general and then discusses ones that are bi-sexual, lesbian, transgender and gay. I was pleased that I managed to find 39 of them availble on amazon (with only 4 or so I wanted totally out of print). She also mentioned the bo ...more
Nov 26, 2007 Peggy rated it really liked it
Queer Pulp is an interesting enough history of the literature of alternative lifestyles both legitimate (Tennessee Williams, Radclyffe Hall, James Baldwin) and not-so-legitimate (Percy Fenster, author of Hot Pants Homo), but the clincher on this one is the cover reproductions, which are just as lurid and wonderful as the cover implies. If you collect odd titles as I do, this is a veritable treasure trove.
Jul 03, 2011 Lorraine rated it it was ok
The cover re-prints were fun. However I was hoping for a deeper exploration of the culture surrounding these books. The text felt, sorta-kinda, like I was simply reading breezy, snarky Amazon reviews of the books.
Nov 24, 2010 gdg rated it it was amazing
Wow! Fantastic!
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Litquake Fiction ...: See you at Litquake! 1 4 Aug 28, 2012 09:32PM  
Susan O'Neal Stryker is an American professor, author, filmmaker, and theorist whose work focuses on gender and human sexuality. She is an associate professor of Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Arizona, and is the director of the university's Institute for LGBT Studies. She has served as a visiting professor at Harvard University, University of California, Santa Cruz, and Simon Fra ...more
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