Are Girls Necessary?: Lesbian Writing and Modern Histories

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Psychology Press, 1996 - Literary Criticism - 213 pages
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"Are girls necessary?" asks Julie Abraham in this provocative study of 20th-century lesbian writing.

Examining the development of lesbian writing in English across the 20th Century, Abraham identifies a shift from this "romance" model to a more complicated "history" model. The great modernists, Woolf and Stein, as well as the popular writers of succeeding generations, like Mary Renault, looked to historical narratives, creating an important change in the way the "lesbian story" is built.

The possibilities in lesbian writing, from the early romance plots through to the post-1960s liberation movement experiments, are Abraham's geography. Within it, she offers detailed readings of major writers in several genres, from high modern to pulp, both British and American.
 

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Contents

I Have a Narrative
1
Tell the Lacadaemonians
41
Mary Renaults Greek Drama
61
Love Is Writing
79
Djuna Barnes Memory and Forgetting
121
Virginia Woolf and the Sexual Histories of Literature
139
Reading and the Experiences of Everyday Life
169
Index
207
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About the author (1996)

Julie Abraham is Associate Professor of English and Women's Studies at Emory college. She has written for The Nation, the Voice Literary Supplement, and the Women's Review of Books.

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