Are Girls Necessary?: Lesbian Writing and Modern Histories

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U of Minnesota Press, 1996 - Literary Criticism - 213 pages
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What do we read as "lesbian," and why? Have we been looking for love in too few places? In this first full-length study of modern lesbian writing, Julie Abraham challenges conventional assumptions about the dangers and pleasures of the coming together of lesbianism and literature. Who would lesbians be without the novel? What would modernism be without lesbian writers? Abraham reads the fevered female romances written by straight men as often as gay women. She also reads the works of high modernist and popular lesbian writers, from Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf to Mary Renault, who instead claimed history -- the ancient world, the New World, and war-torn twentieth-century Europe -- as their arena. Abraham offers accounts of major British and American writers, from the trials of Oscar Wilde to Stonewall, from the avant- garde to pulp fiction, from high cultural canons to bestseller lists.

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