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Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 1 month ago
Lesbian Literature Bibliographies
The book that started it all:
Foster, Jeanette. Sex variant women in literature : a historical and quantitative survey. New York : Vantage Press, c1956.
Other editions:
English publication:  London :  F. Muller,  1958
2nd edition. With a new afterword by Barbara Grier. Baltimore :  Diana Press,  [1975] c1956.
1st Naiad Press ed. Tallahassee, FL : Naiad Press,  1985.
Ms. Foster had to self-publish the first edition.
The books that continued it:
Grier, Barbara. The lesbian in literature :  a bibliography /  [by Gene Damon and Lee Stuart]. San Francisco :  Daughters of Bilitis,  [c1967].
This first edition includes 1000-2000 titles that were pulp and designated trash.
The lesbian in literature : a bibliography /  Gene Damon, [i.e. B. Grier] Jan Watson, Robin Jordan.  2d ed.  Reno, Nev. :  The Ladder,  [1975].
The second edition deleted many of the pulp entries (a sad thing for some of us) - it included the ones that were rated something other than trash and the ones that were rated trash that were by authors who also had titles that were NOT rated trash.
The lesbian in literature /  Barbara Grier. 3rd ed. Tallahassee, Fla. :  Naiad Press,  1981.
Contains significantly more entries than the 2nd edition. I wish I had had this in the early 80s when I was desparately searching for lesbian literature!!!
Women loving women : a short and annotated bibliography of women loving women in literature / [editor], Marie J. Kuda. Chicago : Lavender Press, 1974. (Referred to in this website as "WLW")


This bibliography has annotations that could only have been written by us and in the 70's - the annotations alone are a trip down memory lane.
Of extreme interest ...
Lesbiana : book reviews from the Ladder, 1962-1972. Barbara Grier, introduction by Ann Leeson. Naiad Press, 1976.  While the dates do not include much of the lesbian pulp, this is an extremely interesting read and does contain some very pertinent anecdotal information about the pulps.
Lesbian Pulp Fiction Bibliography (very much under construction):
Walters, Suzanna Danuta. As Her Hand Crept Slowly up Her Thigh: Ann Bannon and the Politics of Pulp. Social Text, No. 23 (Autumn - Winter, 1989), pp. 83-101. For the first page see: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0164-2472(198923%2F24)23%3C83%3AAHHCSU%3E2.0.CO%3B2-Q
Hermes, Joke. Sexuality in Lesbian Romance Fiction Feminist Review, No. 42, Feminist Fictions (Autumn, 1992), pp. 49-66.

For the abstract see: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0141-7789(199223)42%3C49%3ASILRF%3E2.0.CO%3B2-O


Keller, Yvonne. Yvonne Keller is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University-Ohio. Her forthcoming book, is entitled Pulp Sappho: Lesbian Pulp Novels and Spectacularization in U.S. Popular Culture analyzes 1950s and 60s lesbian pulp novels in the US. We are looking forward to her book!!!
"Was It Right to Love Her Brother's Wife So Passionately?": Lesbian Pulp Novels and U.S. Lesbian Identity, 1950-1965. American Quarterly - Volume 57, Number 2, June 2005, pp. 385-410
ABSTRACT (FIRST PAGE):"Was It Right to Love Her Brother's Wife So Passionately?": Lesbian Pulp Novels and U.S. Lesbian Identity, 1950-1965 Yvonne Keller At last, lesbians! . . . I read every one of these mass-market paperbacks I could get my hands on. . . . I was driven, searching for my nourishment like a starveling, grabbing at any crumb that looked, tasted, or smelled digestible. --Lee Lynch, "Cruising the Libraries"^1 No matter how embarrassed and ashamed I felt when I went to the cash register to buy these books [lesbian pulps], it was absolutely necessary for me to have them. I needed them the way I needed food and shelter for survival. --Donna Allegra, "Between the Sheets"^2 U.S.-centered scholars typically see the lesbian literary landscape in the fifty years between the publication of The Well of Loneliness in 1928 and the explosion of lesbian-feminist publishing in the early 1970s as a vast, uninhabitable desert best traversed only quickly, with one foot heavy on the gas. In fact, however, at least from 1950 to 1965, this period was flooded with lesbian fiction in the form of lesbian pulp novels, mass-market paperbacks with explicitly lesbian themes and sensationalized covers that enjoyed widespread distribution and millions in sales. Certain segments of contemporary academic and lesbian culture have appreciated these books and even republished them as historical, campy, or sexy fictions (and quite a few refrigerators bear magnets displaying pulp covers). Yet, the genre's undeniably homophobic and voyeuristic appeal to a heterosexual male audience intent on enjoying the "queer loves" of the "twilight woman" ties this image of lesbianism to heterosexual pornography. Hence, most scholars have ignored these books precisely because of their...
"Pulp Politics: Strategies of Vision in Pro-Lesbian Pulp Novels 1955-1965" in Patricia Juliana Smith, (editor), (1999), "The Queer Sixties", Routledge, 272 pages, ISBN 0415921686 (hardcover)/0415921694 (paperback).

"Voyeurism and surveillance in lesbian pulp novels and US Cold War culture," Feminist Media Studies, Volume 5, Issue 2 July 2005 , pages 177 - 195.

   A biblio list from the Mt St Vincent Women's College  lesbian pulps collection www.msvu.ca/english/pulp/biblio.asp
Matrix, Sydney.  "Desire and Deviate Nymphos: Performing Inversion(s) as a Lesbian Consumer." Journal of Homosexuality. Volume: 31 Issue: 1/2. 1996.
Miller, Laurence. "The Golden Age of Gay and Lesbian Literature in Mainstream Mass-Market Paperbacks." Paperback Parade, #47. p. 37-66. Includes a chronological checklist 1943-1973.
"An Interview With Marijane Meaker : the Woman Behind Vin Packer and Ann Aldrich." Gary Lovosi, interviewer. Paperback Parade, #47. 16-25. Includes a list of the books Meaker wrote as Aldrich and Packer.
 Sacred Ground: News and Reviews on Lesbian Writing The book that sparked the fire

By Joy Parks   http://www.gaylinkcontent.com/storydetail.cfm?storyid=1128



Wood, Christine. From Barracks to Barstools: A Sociological Reading of the Lesbian Pulp Fiction Genre  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Montreal Convention Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Aug 11, 2006Online <PDF>. 2006-10-05.

ABSTRACT: Abstract: Because none exist, this preliminary literature review carves a space for a systematic, cultural-sociological study of the lesbian pulp genre during the 1950s. It draws on scholarly research on lesbian pulp from American studies, cultural studies, literary studies and queer studies. It examines ethnographic writing on the lesbian sub-culture of the 1950s (in particular the bar culture) in order to understand the social context to which these novels correspond. Finally, it examines major contributions to the sociology of sexuality, with specific attention to writing on “class-inflected” dimensions of sexuality. The literature review culminates in a set of preliminary questions that will guide an impending research design.


Lesbian Pulp Fiction : the sexually intrepid world of lesbian paperback novels 1950-1965 / selected and edited by Katherine V. Forrest. Cleis Press. 2005.
Grier, Barbara. "The Lesbian Paperback", from The Lesbians Home Journal / edited by Barbara Grier and Colette Reid. Baltimore, Maryland : Diana Press, 1976.
Meaker, Marijane. Highsmith. Cleis Press. 2003.
Zimet, Jaye. Strange Sisters : the Art of Lesbian Pulp Fiction. New York : Viking Penguin, 1999.
Leighton, Elizabeth Leighton (University of Victoria, Canada): ‘Writing Lesbian Literary History: Identity Politics in The Ladder and 1950s American Pulp Fiction’  
ABSTRACT:  In October 1955, in the context of post-war homophobia and McCarthyite repression, eight San Francisco lesbian women established an organization called the Daughters of Bilitis ‘to provide an outlet for social activities.’ The following year they published the first issue of The Ladder, a newsletter whose aim was to educate the lesbian community and the general public on ‘the homosexual theme’ and the value of social integration. The Ladder’s statement of editorial purpose manifested a complicated negotiation between the discourses of biological determinism and self-determination. Still influenced by sexological definitions of lesbian identity, from Krafft-Ebing and Havelock Ellis to Kinsey’s more recent Sexual Behaviour in the Human Female (1953), The Ladder struggled to reconcile the discourse of biological determinism with an emergent discourse of political self-determination.

One of the newsletter’s primary modes of education was the book review. The editors found lesbian representation not only in mainstream novels by D.H. Lawrence, Patrick White, and John Wyndham, but also in contemporary pulp fiction by women such as Ann Bannon, Tereska Torres, and Claire Morgan. My conference paper will examine the representation of lesbian identity in both The Ladder and 1950s lesbian pulp fiction in order to consider the role of literature in the consolidation of North American lesbian identity, the development of the discourse of lesbian self-determination, and the writing of lesbian history in the 1950s. Representing and reading lesbian identity in fiction, I will suggest, offered a way to validate and historicize lesbian identity at a moment when  American Senate Committees threatened to censor depictions of lesbianism as immoral.


  Elliott, Mary.    Closet of the heart: legacies of domesticity in tomboy narratives and lesbian pulp fiction 1850-1965. 1999.
Sova, Dawn B. Passion and Penance: The Lesbian in Pulp Fiction. ISBN10:  0571199178. ISBN13:  9780571199174. 1998. Faber & Faber.

Nealon, Christopher S. (Christopher Shaun) 1967- Invert-History: The Ambivalence of Lesbian Pulp Fiction. New Literary History - Volume 31, Number 4, Autumn 2000, pp. 745-764.

ABSTRACT (FIRST PAGE) : Forty years after the demise of the genre, lesbian pulp fiction seems both funny and sad. In part, the novels seem funny because of their outrageous melodrama; and sad because the women who wrote the most popular lesbian pulp novels of the fifties and early sixties were always under pressure to remember that, officially, they were writing for a male readership, who would best appreciate stories that would ultimately either punish lesbian characters (with suicide or insanity), or "reform" them (with men for sexual partners). But the ambivalence about the novels extends to its latter-day readers: as lesbian pulp gets claimed as US queer "heritage," it turns out to be hard to say what exactly is being claimed--is it the novels' production, or their consumption? Is it the courage it took to have written such novels in the McCarthy era, or the camp pleasure we feel, reading them now, that we can recycle earlier forms of pain at an ironic distance? Another way of putting this ambivalence is to say that, in most readings of lesbian pulp fiction today, two theories of US queer history are at work, each animating a particular kind of historical affect--a feeling about history, and a feeling generated by it--and each making a different claim on our understanding of the last half-century. Both approaches to the pulps take for granted that things are better now than they used to be; but they see the relationship between the homosexual past and the lesbian, gay, queer present in slightly different terms. In one reading, the melodrama of the...



Foote, Stephanie. Deviant Classics: Pulps and the Making of Lesbian Print Culture.

Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, volume 31 (2005), pages 169–190.

Comments (1)

Anonymous said

at 7:45 am on Aug 21, 2007

I made a few adds to the biblip pg, but I fear since I am not MLS sort that they are neither appropriate nor in standard format desired. Also still strugglin to figure out how to edit and where for whole site grr. Robin

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