Sex Variant Woman: The Life of Jeanette Howard Foster

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Hachette Books, Jun 10, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 528 pages
Jeannette Howard Foster was to lesbianism in the mid-twentieth century what out authors such as Gore Vidal and James Baldwin were to gay men. She unapologetically blew the lid off Cold War sexual repression in 1956 with her Sex Variant Women in Literature-the first-ever study of homosexual, bisexual, and cross-dressing characters appearing in more than 300 works, from ancient times to the present. Joanne Passet's Sex Variant Woman is a fascinating portrait of Foster, who served as the first librarian at the Kinsey Institute before leaving to publish her controversial book. It is also a riveting look into the pre-Stonewall past, the intense sexual repression and persecution endured by homosexuals, the groundbreaking advances put forth by a cadre of activists, and the rise of feminism and gay and lesbian liberation decades later.

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Sex variant woman: the life of Jeannette Howard Foster

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Passet, a professor of history and author (Sex Radicals and the Quest for Women's Equality), captures both the personal and professional obstacles faced by Jeanette Howard Foster, the foremother of ... Read full review


Title Page
One Early Years
Two Romantic Friendship and Voiceless Longing
Three Unrequited Love
Four Libraries and Loves During the Great Depression
Five Another Philadelphia Story 19371948
Six The Sex Researcher and the Librarian
Seven Sex Variant Women in Literature
Eight Hail and Farewell
Nine Gaiety Must Be Gaining Respectability
Ten Exit Laughing

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About the author (2008)

Joanne Passet is a professor of history at Indiana University East. Her previous books include Sex Radicals and the Quest for Women's Equality and Cultural Crusaders.

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