Desert of the Heart: A Novel

Front Cover
Naiad Press, 1985 - Fiction - 222 pages
36 Reviews
Set in the late 1950s, this is the story of Evelyn Hall, an English Professor, who goes to Reno to obtain a divorce and put an end to her disastrous 16-year marriage. While staying at a boarding house to establish her six-week residency requirement she meets Ann Childs, a casino worker and fifteen years her junior. Physically, they are remarkably alike and eventually have an affair and begin the struggle to figure out just how a relationship between two women can last. Desert of the Heart examines the conflict between convention and freedom and the ways in which the characters try to resolve the conflict.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
15
4 stars
9
3 stars
6
2 stars
4
1 star
2

It is a beautifully written, beautiful love story. - Goodreads
Jane Rule is a remarkable writer. - Goodreads
It's not a mushy love story. - Goodreads
I would have done a little less in my own writing. - Goodreads

Review: Desert of the Heart (Novels #1)

User Review  - Virgowriter (Brad Windhauser) - Goodreads

Not the most well written book but it does offer an important look y the pressures lesbians faced in the 70s/80s in this country. The prose wants to parallel religion, gambling, and marriage but could have dug deeper. Still interesting as a historical account. Read full review

Review: Desert of the Heart (Novels #1)

User Review  - Bellish - Goodreads

A "lesbian classic" from 1964, I was expecting something a little more pulpy and less well written, so that was a nice suprise, but it was too dry in the end. It could have done with more plot and less abstract conversation and author soapboxing. Read full review

Contents

Section 1
5
Section 2
20
Section 3
41
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1985)

Born in Plainfield, New Jersey, in 1931, Jane Vance Rule received her B.A. from Mills College, California, and taught for two years at Concord Academy, Massachusetts, where she met Helen Sonthoff with whom she lived from 1956 until Helen's death in 2000. After twenty years of working periodically at the University of British Columbia, she moved to Galiano Island, where she became a much-loved and generous contributor to the island community. She died at her Galiano home in November, 2007. Jane Rule's seven novels present a range of characters in a variety of situations but it is for her unapologetic and clear-eyed writing on lesbian themes that she is best known. Her first published novel Desert of the Heart became a classic of lesbian literature; it was made into the film Desert Hearts. Her commissioned book Lesbian Images is a pioneering study of the often veiled forms in which women have written of love between women. She was also a prolific writer of short stories and essays, published in four previous collections. For ten years she wrote a column headed "So's your Grandmother" for the gay liberationist newspaper The Body Politic. The recipient of numerous awards in recognition of her work as writer and social activist, Jane Rule was inducted into the Order of British Columbia in 1998 and the Order of Canada in 2007.

Bibliographic information