Another mother tongue: gay words, gay worlds

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Beacon Press, Sep 1, 1984 - Social Science - 324 pages
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Review: Another Mother Tongue

User Review  - Jack - Goodreads

A really good book of origins for Queer Folk! Read full review

Review: Another Mother Tongue

User Review  - clay - Goodreads

A very inspiring look into the etymology of many gay words, and queer cultural history. Grahn writes with a sense of flow and continuity, so that it is a pleasurable read. Made me reclaim a lot of words and phrases. Read full review

Contents

Sashay Down the Lavender Trail i
1
The Original Underground
21
THREE
34
Copyright

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About the author (1984)

Grahn is a lesbian feminist poet, fiction writer, publisher, and cultural critic of note. Born in Chicago, she grew up in New Mexico and at age 21 was expelled from the Air Force for being a lesbian. Over the years she attended six colleges, where she studied poetry, and she completed her B.A. at San Francisco State University in 1984. She has taught lesbian and gay studies and women's writing, co-founded a women's press (The Women's Press Collective of Oakland), and was at the forefront of a West Coast poetry "renaissance" of the 1970s, along with Susan Griffin, Pat Parker, and Alta. In her work, Grahn seeks to link various oppressions in order to facilitate the emergence of coalitions of the oppressed. She draws her themes and images from ancient myths, Western literary and philosophical traditions, and historical and social trends, defining---or redefining---them as expressing feminine and homoerotic desire and then appropriating them for their subversive potential. For example, she invents a new, more expressive "American sonnet" for "The Common Woman" sequence in Edward the Dyke and Other Poems (1971), which celebrates both women's differences and commonalities. In She, Who (1977), she rewrites scripture as feminist experimental verse. Although she first came to critical attention with her poetry, Grahn is now also known for her cultural and literary criticism. Her two editions of Another Mother Tongue (1979, 1984) offer a wealth of information about gay identities throughout history, which Grahn links to a number of myth systems and languages in a form that blends poetry, legend, autobiography, and etymology. In effect, she imaginatively retrieves and invents gay cultural history, mythology, and language (the "other mother tongue" of the title).

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