Lesbian Pulp Fiction: The Sexually Intrepid World of Lesbian Paperback Novels, 1950-1965

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Katherine V. Forrest
Cleis Press, 2005 - Fiction - 415 pages
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Long before the rise of the modern gay movement, an unnoticed literary revolution was occurring between the covers of the cheaply produced lesbian pulp paperbacks of the post?World War II era. In 1950, publisher Fawcett Books founded its Gold Medal imprint, inaugurating the reign of lesbian pulp fiction. These were the books that small-town lesbians and prurient men bought by the millions ? cheap, easy to find in drugstores, and immediately recognizable by their lurid covers: often a hard-looking brunette standing over a scantily clad blonde, or a man gazing in tormented lust at a lovely, unobtainable lesbian. For women leading straight lives, here was confirmation that they were not alone and that darkly glamorous, "gay" places like Greenwich Village existed. Some ? especially those written by lesbians ? offered sympathetic and realistic depictions of "life in the shadows," while others (no less fun to read now) were smutty, sensational tales of innocent girls led astray. In the overheated prose typical of the genre, this collection documents the emergence of a lesbian subculture in postwar America.

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About the author (2005)

Katherine V. Forrest is the author of 15 novels including Hancock Park, Curious Wine, and Daughters of a Coral Dawn. She is twice winner of the Lambda Literary Award for best mystery: for The Beverly Malibu and Murder by Tradition, both part of the Kate Delafield series. She has two books due to be published in 2005, Daughters of an Emerald Dusk (Alyson) and the anthology Women of Mystery (Alice Street Editions). A winner of the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Pioneer Award, Katherine Forrest lives in San Francisco.


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