Lesbian novels of the mid-twentieth century pulp fiction that made a revolution in female sexuality

Today cheap romance paperback no one takes seriously. This reading is taken to vacation, to read and to ruthlessly discarded. But few know that these books once I opened my eyes to women the first half of the twentieth century that romance may not only be with the opposite sex.

Lesbian novels of the mid-twentieth century pulp fiction that made a revolution in female sexuality

The so-called "lesbian" novels 50-60-ies of the last century became a literary phenomenon and a revelation for millions of women. Literature talked about the fact that relationships can be not only between a man and a woman, but between two women.

Before that, women with homosexual were in an absolute vacuum and often did not even know that you are not alone in this world. Writer Katherine Forrest, issued in 2005, an anthology of lesbian romance novels, recalls those days:

Lesbian novels of the mid-twentieth century pulp fiction that made a revolution in female sexuality

The first book in Catherine's life was a novel, Ann Bannon "Odd Girl Out". She was only 18 years old, and it happened in 1957. Buying this book was a real event for the future of the writer:

Probably exactly the same emotions experienced when you first purchase the lesbian romance novel and other women. They picked up these books, read them avidly and learn in their the characters themselves. Another writer, Joan Nestle, admitted that for her, as for other buyers of similar books, to take her in his arms and go to checkout it was very difficult.

Lesbian novels of the mid-twentieth century pulp fiction that made a revolution in female sexuality

In the mid-twentieth century, such novels also, no one is considered intelligent literature. And, in General, to read it was not fashionable and all who kept pace with the times, chose not so long ago appeared the TV. Female lesbian novels were published in huge print runs on the cheapest paper and the censorship was not until they absolutely no case.

Lesbian novels of the mid-twentieth century pulp fiction that made a revolution in female sexuality

Due to this relief on the pages of dime novels one could find forbidden at that time topics such as "white slavery", a brutal murder, drugs and, of course, same-sex relationships. The first novels of a new genre was novels "Women's barracks" Tereska Torres (1950) and "Spring fire" Meridzheyn Meeker (1952).

Lesbian novel Tereska Torres describes the events that took place during the Second world war. It told about the Patriotic movement "Fighting France", but, despite the clearly anti-fascist bias of the book, found her place and a lesbian storyline.

And the writer and moreover publisher Gold Medal Books, was puzzled by the incredible demand for the novel. He has sold 4 million copies, which for a period, when literature was in decline, was a terrific success.

Lesbian novels of the mid-twentieth century pulp fiction that made a revolution in female sexuality

Inspired by the success of "Women's barracks", the publishing house ventured to produce novel Meridzheyn Meeker (under the pseudonym VIN packer) "Spring fire." In this literary "masterpiece"is already three-quarters of the text was devoted to homosexual relations between women.

The endings of these novels, according to the laws of the genre, was tragic, but the protagonists were women. Meeker admitted that the publisher forced her to change the ending of the book that has been censored. At that time a woman could be either a homosexual, or happy. Both together were not considered – lesbian relationship had a clearly negative assessment.

The main character can be happy only to think better and to find my man, which, of course, did not fit into the rules of a new genre. The first novel that changed the situation was the "Price of salt" by Patricia Highsmith, known for a series about "the talented Mr. Ripley." The book was published in 1952 by the publishing house Bantam Books and immediately became popular.

Lesbian novels of the mid-twentieth century pulp fiction that made a revolution in female sexuality

Novel Highsmith has sold 2.5 million books and took the 244-e a place on sales in the United States. Reprinted novel until 1975, until it was forbidden in most States of the USA as immoral.

Another author who defied the rules is Ann Bannon, who published his novels from 1957 to 1962. The writer specially made the finals of their books is happy to dispel common stereotypes associated with being in a lesbian relationship.

The society met a lesbian, frigid, neurotic, mentally unbalanced and mentally immature, but in the novels'bannon was different. Her character lived a normal life loving people were understanding and caring. The author managed to achieve his goal and that same-sex love women began to be perceived as a normal relationship, is largely due'bannon.

Lesbian novels of the mid-twentieth century pulp fiction that made a revolution in female sexuality

In addition to these lesbian novels were published, and those in which the psychology of the relationship was not the main theme. They wrote, often men under female pseudonyms and meant they were also representatives of the stronger sex.

In these novels, even the plot was secondary for me, and first displayed the juicy details of intimate life. Very soon, these books became the majority, but the real lesbian love novels written by women for women, were the exception to the rule.

Following a period of rapid development followed by a decline of the genre, which came in the first half of the 60s. Compounded by the fact that the fiction began to lose its popularity and the benefits it has declined substantially.

Lesbian novels of the mid-twentieth century pulp fiction that made a revolution in female sexuality

Another important factor contributing to the decline in circulation is the appearance of long-awaited freedom. Women homosexual I stopped being afraid of their feelings and began to find other ways of expression. In the late 1960s in the United States began to appear closed clubs where lesbians could meet each other and find a mate. Still later, began to organize public meetings and even festivals are lesbians.

Finally, we need to emphasize that the publication of these books the authors had to possess considerable courage. For this work the writer could pursue various activists and members of the radical Christian communities. Came danger and the authorities – known cases of persecution of authors from the FBI.

Keywords: 18+ | Homosexuality | Publishing | Books | Lesbians | Literature | Popularity | Romance | Sexuality

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