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Beebo Brinker

(Beebo Brinker #prequel)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  1,206 ratings  ·  90 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 Yorks 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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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  1,206 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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Nov 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
The last of Bannon's books, unfortunately. Published in 1962. Her prequel to the saga of Beebo and her other characters. She stated in an interview she stopped writing when she felt she was getting really good at it (Forbidden Love video, 1994).

When Barbara Gittings started adding pictures of real lesbians to the cover of The Ladder in 1964 it was a revolutionary act - it showed lesbians as normal folks for anyone to see - heterosexuals who believed they'd never seen any before, and lesbians
Apr 15, 2013 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 ...more
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ff, read-in-2019
Absolutely loved this one. Well worth a read.
Cheyenne Blue
Jan 05, 2014 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.

Its 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 a
Jul 18, 2009 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 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010
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 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
Sep 27, 2010 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.
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, for-college, 2020
Read this for class and really enjoyed it! For one, it was a lot easier to digest than most of the other things we've been assigned to read. And the story was engaging if a little bit unrealistic in its pacing. I know so many friends who read this and really benefitted from its more optimistic portrayal of coming out and lesbian relationships, especially compared to other books of the time.
Wendy Rouse
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ann Bannon (Weldy) writes a surprisingly sympathetic tale of a young woman coming to terms with her identity as a lesbian in the early 1960s. Written during the height of the era of lesbian pulp fiction, Bannon's story deviates from the standard narratives of the era that inevitably ended in tragedy for lesbian characters. Beebo Brinker is a relatable and multi-dimensional character with an interesting story to tell. Definitely worth the read.
Jul 24, 2011 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 ...more
I came across one of Ann Bannon's original pulp fiction paperbacks (I AM A WOMAN) in a small town Goodwill in the early 1980s. It was pulpy, but still so much more enjoyable than lots of lesbian fiction that was being published thirty years ago. I ended up searching for all of her Gold Medal books in used book stores and they were so hard to find. (I think most lesbians in the 50s hid them and then destroyed them.) Anyway, I eventually was able to track most of them down (I think it was Naiad ...more
Oct 22, 2012 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, ...more
Jun 27, 2007 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.
Feb 21, 2011 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.
Aug 05, 2011 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.
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.
Kit Fox
Aug 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
The second Beebo Brinker booksay that 17 times fastdefinitely 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. ...more
Mar 27, 2008 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.
Apr 17, 2008 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!
Aug 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: queer
Fascinating as a portrait of its times.
Eleni Diamantopoulos
Aug 29, 2007 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.
Feb 21, 2008 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.
Jul 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
An interesting cultural artifact.
Feb 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Racier than others I've read. Quick and happily ended.
Jan 05, 2011 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.
Jan 06, 2009 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!
Jemiah Jefferson
Feb 06, 2012 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 rated it really liked it
Good one - not quite as good as Odd Girl out, though. Fun re-releases, glad they are issuing them.
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it
I'd known about Bannon's 'Beebo Brinker Chronicles' for many years: a series of 5 books, the last one written - this one - being a prequel to the entire series. I knew these underground pulp classics appeared at a very specific time in history - when there wasn't a whole lot in terms of lesbian lit, and what did exist tended to be depressing / tragic.

I figured I'd start with 'last things first' and took on the prequel. I didn't know much in terms of what to expect. But at least it's not 'The
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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)

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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