Lesbian

The New York Times–bestselling author’s Whitbread Prize–winning debut—“Winterson has mastered both comedy and tragedy in this rich little novel” (The Washington Post Book World).
 
When it first appeared, Jeanette Winterson’s extraordinary debut novel received unanimous international praise, including the prestigious Whitbread Prize for best first fiction. Winterson went on to fulfill that promise, producing some of the most dazzling fiction and nonfiction of the past decade, including her celebrated memoir Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?. Now required reading in contemporary literature, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a funny, poignant exploration of a young girl’s adolescence.
 
Jeanette is a bright and rebellious orphan who is adopted into an evangelical household in the dour, industrial North of England and finds herself embroidering grim religious mottoes and shaking her little tambourine for Jesus. But as this budding missionary comes of age, and comes to terms with her unorthodox sexuality, the peculiar balance of her God-fearing household dissolves. Jeanette’s insistence on listening to truths of her own heart and mind—and on reporting them with wit and passion—makes for an unforgettable chronicle of an eccentric, moving passage into adulthood.
 
“If Flannery O’Connor and Rita Mae Brown had collaborated on the coming-out story of a young British girl in the 1960s, maybe they would have approached the quirky and subtle hilarity of Jeanette Winterson’s autobiographical first novel. . . . Winterson’s voice, with its idiosyncratic wit and sensitivity, is one you’ve never heard before.” —Ms. Magazine
Jacqueline Keys was ostracized from her small hometown of Pine Springs, Texas when she was seventeen, sent away because she was gay. Her family was the largest employer in the county, owning Pine Springs Lumber, and her father was mayor of this small town. Her mother could not accept the fact that her only child was gay, could not tolerate the gossip about her family. So, with a hundred dollars in her pocket and a one-way bus ticket out of town, Jacqueline was told not to come back until she had come to her senses. And that included being prepared to marry the son of a business associate of the family.

Fifteen years later—long after she'd hitch-hiked to Los Angeles, long after she'd worked nights to put herself through college, and long after she'd written her first best seller, No Place For Family—Jacqueline is persuaded to go back to the tiny town of Pine Springs after her father's death.

The quick trip she'd envisioned for the funeral turns into weeks as she learns her father's business is suddenly hers to manage. And she is also again face-to-face with the woman who, as a teen, had been Jackie's first crush. She and Kay had been inseparable as kids, and later as teens. They find themselves falling back into their old habits, and Jackie is soon fighting the same feelings she'd had when she was seventeen.

But living behind the pine curtain, Kay is afraid of her love for Jackie, afraid of what her family will say, afraid of how the town will react. Jackie refuses to hide, refuses to crawl back into the closet, so once again, she leaves Pine Springs...alone.
 
“The rare work of fiction that has changed real life . . . If you don’t yet know Molly Bolt—or Rita Mae Brown, who created her—I urge you to read and thank them both.”—Gloria Steinem
 
Winner of the Lambda Literary Pioneer Award | Winner of the Lee Lynch Classic Book Award
 
A landmark coming-of-age novel that launched the career of one of this country’s most distinctive voices, Rubyfruit Jungle remains a transformative work more than forty years after its original publication. In bawdy, moving prose, Rita Mae Brown tells the story of Molly Bolt, the adoptive daughter of a dirt-poor Southern couple who boldly forges her own path in America. With her startling beauty and crackling wit, Molly finds that women are drawn to her wherever she goes—and she refuses to apologize for loving them back. This literary milestone continues to resonate with its message about being true to yourself and, against the odds, living happily ever after.
 
Praise for Rubyfruit Jungle
 
“Groundbreaking.”The New York Times
 
“Powerful . . . a truly incredible book . . . I found myself laughing hysterically, then sobbing uncontrollably just moments later.”—The Boston Globe
 
“You can’t fully know—or enjoy—how much the world has changed without reading this truly wonderful book.”—Andrew Tobias, author of The Best Little Boy in the World
 
“A crass and hilarious slice of growing up ‘different,’ as fun to read today as it was in 1973.”The Rumpus
 
“Molly Bolt is a genuine descendant—genuine female descendant—of Huckleberry Finn. And Rita Mae Brown is, like Mark Twain, a serious writer who gets her messages across through laughter.”—Donna E. Shalala

“A trailblazing literary coup at publication . . . It was the right book at the right time.”—Lee Lynch, author of Beggar of Love
“A remarkable story.”—Publishers Weekly

Set in the nineteenth century, Isabel Miller’s classic lesbian novel traces the relationship between Patience White, an educated painter, and Sarah Dowling, a cross-dressing farmer, whose romantic bond does not sit well with the puritanical New England farming community in which they live. They choose to live together and love each other freely, even though they know of no precedents for their relationship; they must trust their own instincts and see beyond the disdain of their neighbors. Ultimately, they are forced to make life-changing decisions that depend on their courage and their commitment to one another.

First self-published in 1969 in an edition of one thousand copies, the author hand-sold the book on New York street corners; it garnered increasing attention to the point of receiving the American Library Association’s first Gay Book Award in 1971. McGraw-Hill’s version of the book a year later brought it to mainstream bookstores across the country.

Patience & Sarah is a historical romance whose drama was a touchstone for the burgeoning gay and women’s activism of the late 1960s and early 1970s. It celebrates the joys of an uninhibited love between two strong women with a confident defiance that remains relevant today.

This edition features an appendix of supplementary materials about Patience & Sarah and the author, as well as an introduction by Emma Donoghue, the Irish novelist whose numerous books include the contemporary Dublin novels Stirfry and Hood, the latter of which won the ALA’s Gay and Lesbian Book Award in 1995.

Little Sister’s Classics is an Arsenal Pulp Press imprint dedicated to reviving lost and out-of-print gay and lesbian classic books, both fiction and nonfiction. The series is produced in conjunction with Little Sister’s Books, the heroic gay Vancouver bookstore well-known for its anti-censorship efforts.

Isabel Miller was the author of numerous novels, including two under her real name, Alma Routsong. She died in 1996.

 First Digital Edition; Grier Rating: A***

Therese is nineteen and working in a department store during the Christmas shopping season. She dates men, although not with real enthusiasm. One day a beautiful older woman comes over to her counter and buys a doll. As the purchase is a C.O.D. order, Therese makes a mental note of the customer’s address.  She is intrigued and drawn to the woman.  Although young, inexperienced and shy, she writes a note to the customer, Carol, and is elated and surprised when Carol invites her to meet.

Therese realizes she has strong feelings for Carol, but is unsure of what they represent. Carol, in the process of a bitter separation and divorce, is also quite lonely.  Soon the two women begin spending a great deal of time together.  Before long, they are madly and hopelessly in love. The path is not easy for them, however. Carol also has a child and a very suspicious husband--dangerous ground for the lovers.  When the women leave New York and travel west together, they discover the choices they’ve made to be together will have lasting effects on both their lives.

Considered to be the first lesbian pulp novel to break the pulp publishing industry-enforced pattern of tragic consequences for its lesbian heroines, The Price of Salt was written by Patricia Highsmith (under the pseudonym, Claire Morgan) – the author of Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley.

As one reviewer wrote in 1952, “Claire Morgan is completely natural. She has a story to tell and she tells it with an almost conversational ease. Her people are neither degenerate monsters nor fragile victims of the social order. They must—and do—pay a price for thinking, feeling and loving ‘differently,’ but they are courageous and true to themselves throughout.”

New Adult novel: recommended for 17+ due to mature themes and sexual content.

Where does friendship stop and love begin?

At just 19, Kendall Bettencourt is Hollywood's hottest young starlet, with the world at her feet, but behind the glamour and designer dresses is a girl who longs for normal.

Payton Taylor is Kendall's best friend since childhood, and the one person who reminds her of who she really is , her refuge from the craziness of celebrity life.

With her career taking off, Kendall moves Payton to LA to help keep her sane. But Payton is hiding a secret that could make everything ten times worse. Because to her, Kendall is more than a best friend, she is the only girl that she has ever loved.

Just as they need each other more than ever, they'll have to answer the question of where friendship stops and love begins? And find out whether the feelings they have can survive the mounting pressure of fame

The Gravity Between Us is a daring, romantic, emotional story about friendship, love, and finding the courage to be yourself in a crazy world.

Praise for The Gravity Between Us

'The characters here are so likeable that I was desperate for them to get together, but it's clear to see why they were hesitant about taking such a major step after being friends for so long. Speaking of likeable characters, there's a wonderful supporting cast, and it's really interesting to read a novel with so many well-drawn and sympathetic people in it. The tension - and there's plenty of it - comes from the balance between the pair's feelings for each other and the challenges Kendall faces, especially, as an A list celebrity trying to deal with the paparazzi and adoring fans I also thought the Hollywood setting was very well described and felt incredibly realistic. It's also got one of the best endings I've read for ages, which had me jumping to my feet I was so excited.

Overall, this is certainly the best New Adult book I've read. Massive recommendation for all.'BookBag

'The Gravity Between Us is a fantastic read--humorous, romantic and daring. Kristen's writing style is engaging and honest. In Payton and Kendall, she's succeeded in creating characters whom you care about instantly. And her portrayal of their relationship is beautifully rendered. I loved the Hollywood angle, the question of how one learns to deal with other people's reactions to same sex relationships and the idea of the zany game that is celebrity.

For me, The Gravity Between Us is a must-read new adult novel! I can't wait to read Kristen Zimmer's next book!' 5 Stars!Kimtalksbooks.com

'Tackling some hard subjects, this book was a wonderful foray into the world of the New Adult genre for me. It was a fast paced read for me because I found the characters so engaging. Because I liked the characters so much, I really wanted to see if they were going to end up together!' A Bookish Affair

'I hope this book calls to you the way it called to me. And if/when you do read it, I hope you laugh and get all sappy and emotional the way I did too.'SmiBookClub.com

 First Digital Edition; Grier Rating: A***

Frances has been married to Bill for many years.  Their son, Bob, is in high school.  Frances had been left alone too often.  Bill's occupation with business, his insensitivity, his indifference had drained their marriage of meaning and warmth.  Yet, it never occurred to her to think of divorce – or to have an affair with another man.  It was easier to shut herself off from all desire, all feeling.  It was like being dead… but it was safe.  Then she met Mary Baker – Bake, for short.  Bake… with her dark, knowing eyes, her young body, so alive, so full of passion and hunger.

Shy Frances is drawn to Bake immediately and accepts her invitations for socializing… which leads to a certain amount of drinking and flirting. Before long, the relationship becomes much more than just a friendship – the two fall hard for each other and Frances becomes Bake’s girl.  It’s not a smooth road for them, though, as Frances is married… still living at home with Bill and her son. With Bake’s encouragement, Frances regains strength as an individual and finds employment outside of the home. The independence she gains as a result of having her own money does wonders for Frances.  For the first time in her life, she feels confident and courageous – strong enough, perhaps, to consider pursuing a new life for herself.  Can she trust Bake's feelings for her?  Will she leave Bill and her son?  Can she trust Bake to stay with her if she does divorce her husband?  Will our lovers fight against all odds to make their relationship survive?

"The Gilda Stories is groundbreaking not just for the wild lives it portrays, but for how it portrays them--communally, unapologetically, roaming fiercely over space and time."--Emma Donoghue, author of Room

"Jewelle Gomez sees right into the heart. This is a book to give to those you want most to find their own strength."—Dorothy Allison

This remarkable novel begins in 1850s Louisiana, where Gilda escapes slavery and learns about freedom while working in a brothel. After being initiated into eternal life as one who "shares the blood" by two women there, Gilda spends the next two hundred years searching for a place to call home. An instant lesbian classic when it was first published in 1991, The Gilda Stories has endured as an auspiciously prescient book in its explorations of blackness, radical ecology, re-definitions of family, and yes, the erotic potential of the vampire story.

Jewelle Gomez is a writer, activist, and the author of many books including Forty-Three Septembers, Don't Explain, The Lipstick Papers, Flamingoes and Bears, and Oral Tradition. The Gilda Stories was the recipient of two Lambda Literary Awards, and was adapted for the stage by the Urban Bush Women theater company in thirteen United States cities.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs was named one of UTNE Reader's 50 Visionaries Transforming the World, a Reproductive Reality Check Shero, a Black Woman Rising nominee, and was awarded one of the first-ever "Too Sexy for 501c3" trophies. She lives in Durham, North Carolina.

More praise for The Gilda Stories:

"Jewelle's big-hearted novel pulls old rhythms out of the earth, the beauty shops and living rooms of black lesbian herstory, expressed by the dazzling vampire Gilda. Her resilience is a testament to black queer women’s love, power, and creativity. Brilliant!"--Joan Steinau Lester, author of Black, White, Other

"In sensuous prose, Jewelle Gomez uses the vampire story as a vehicle for a re-telling of American history in which the disenfranchised finally get their say. Her take on queerness, community, and the vampire legend is as radical and relevant as ever."--Michael Nava, author of The City of Palaces

"The Gilda Stories are both classic and timely. Gilda emphasizes the import of tenets at the crux of black feminism while her stories ring with the urgency of problems that desperately need to be resolved in our current moment."--Theri A. Pickens, author of New Body Politics

"The Gilda Stories was ahead of its time when it was first published in 1991, and this anniversary edition reminds us why it's still an important novel. Gomez's characters are rooted in historical reality yet lift seductively out of it, to trouble traditional models of family, identity, and literary genre and imagine for us bold new patterns. A lush, exciting, inspiring read."--Sarah Waters, author of Tipping the Velvet

" . . . its focus on a black lesbian who possesses considerable agency througout the centuries, and its commentary on gender and race, remain significant and powerful."--Publishers Weekly

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