1935-1958: Lesbian Pulp Fiction

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30 Responses

  1. Fuzzyman

    Did anyone notice that the cover for “Warped” is a reversed and modified version of the one for “From Other Women”? Or vice-versa, depending on which came first.

    Reply
  2. hellraizer77

    U r absolutely rite!!!! How I wish I could read these books!!!!These r absolutely awesome especially “Warped”,”Anything Goes” and “The dark side of Venus”.Any idea how to get these books?

    Reply
  3. Sarah

    I was surprised to not see any of the The Beebo Brinker Chronicles or Satan Was a Lesbian.

    Reply
  4. Fuzzyman

    I did a little research…

    “I am a Woman” is a part of a series of books in which Beebo Brinker plays a part, if not the main one.

    Some of the books (Meg, I am a Woman, probably others) are available on Amazon as $1 Kindle titles. I’m curious to find out what these books were really like.

    Theodora Keogh, author of Meg, was the grandaughter of Teddy Roosevelt. The book is supposed to contain some autobiographical elements.

    http://januarymagazine.blogspot.com/2008/01/theodora-keogh-dies.html

    Reply
  5. phil_agap

    I dont have any of those above, but found 15 ebooks of the same type and era in mobi and epub formats:
    A collection of 15 classic Lesbian pulps from the early days, plus a Sapphic bonus. Contains the following:
    Beebo Brinker Chronicles 1 – Odd Girl Out – Ann Bannon
    Beebo Brinker Chronicles 2 – I Am A Woman – Ann Bannon
    Beebo Brinker Chronicles 3 – Women In The Shadows – Ann Bannon
    Beebo Brinker Chronicles 4 – Journey To A Woman – Ann Bannon
    Queer Patterns – Lilyan Brock
    Strange Sisters – Fletcher Flora
    Three Women – March Hastings
    Girls Dormitory – Orrie Hitt
    The Lion House – Marjorie Lee
    The Price Of Salt – Claire Morgan
    Spring Fire – Vin Packer
    Chris – Randy Salem
    One Hundred Lyrics – Sappho
    Odd Girl – Artemis Smith
    The Girls In 3-B – Valerie Taylor
    Womens Barracks – Tereska Torres
    epub & mobi format
    Code: Select All
    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=YSQ20RA3
    or
    https://rapidshare.com/files/3431957641/PulpL.zip

    Reply
  6. marumaru

    This is probably a long shot, but…
    Does anyone have the slightest idea who the photographer responsible for the cover of “Spring Fire” might be?
    I must admit, I was smitten by this picture.

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  7. Kathleen the Great

    That “Lion House” cover, if it were a photo, would be much like a modern fashion editorial.

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  8. David B

    Last time I was in Waterstones I noticed they have a small lesbian pulp fiction section with re-issues of books like these

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  9. IgotBupkis

    I suspect the readers of these will find mostly florid, overwrought writing that tiptoes around descriptions of actual sex, much as many romance novels do or at least used to do.

    The main target for these are still women, and the style is going to be much the same whether the object of affection is named “Leslie” or “Beaujohn”.

    Reply
    • Dianne Brown

      @Igotbupkis–

      “I suspect the readers of these will find…”

      Yup. Tell us what you suspect about books you haven’t read. Because your opinion is, like, really important. Especially when you’re pontificating on a topic you admit you know nothing about in order to broadcast your prejudices.

      “The main target for these are still women, and the style is going to be much the same whether the object of affection is named “Leslie” or “Beaujohn”.”

      ‘Cause women are all the same. Them and their ladeebrainz.

      Or so sez Igotbupkis, who obviously doesn’t know any women outside his immediate family. For obvious reasons.

      Retronaut: Would you publish a comment that displayed such contempt and bigotry for any other group? (Honest question; I don’t know your comment policy.)

      Reply
      • Dee

        I find nothing offensive about the comment. I read it as an intelligent comment by a woman.

      • May

        I agree with Dee. There was nothing offensive about the original post–simply a clear commentary on the writing style typical of these novels. It was in no way contemptuous or bigoted, and never implied that all women are the same.

  10. Dar

    I used to collect these “Sleaze” paperbacks a few years back, including some lesbian ones.

    They tended to be surprisingly well-written, though often the lesbians were portrayed as deviant or confused.

    but the sex was often quite graphic.

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  11. LilyMarlene

    Far from being warped or degenerate, these women all look pretty happy from the covers!

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  12. Troels

    @Dianne:

    I read Igotbupkiss’ reply more as a comment on the stereotyping that goes on in the publishing business, and not as a comment on women and their reading habits/intellectual capabilities…

    Try and read it again.

    Reply
  13. sprky777

    covers from
    Other-520×836.jpg
    and
    Warped-520×856.jpg
    have the same woman mirrored.

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  14. tr

    What got me about the covers of these was the mainstream value statements such as forbidden love, deviant, and the notion that being lesbian is “experimental” then they get all caught up in it. Really?

    Were any of these books actually written by lesbians?

    Personally, these books smack of ignorance to me.

    Reply
  15. JohnDoe

    Five years ago there was a bookstore near me that specialized in this sort of thing – not really my thing but they are out there if you look.
    Comments I have heard and read suggest that most had endings intended to censure the described behaviour and harshly punished the “deviants” so reading one to the end may not be recommended.
    I doubt any lesbians were ever involved – most were probably written by men who had never met a lesbian.

    Reply
    • Lydia

      When most of these were written, there were censorship laws in place that affected distribution, so companies publishing lesbian pulp novels tried to retain plausible deniability by packaging the books as morality tales or even studies.

      Many of the books were written by men for male readers (including some with female pseudonyms). But there were definitely lesbian authors writing lesbian pulp fiction. The books sometimes described ways to seek out other lesbians or fit in at lesbian bars, and helped women isolated from other lesbians feel less alone. I’ve heard you just skip the last chapter, or the last page.

      Reply
  16. Kim

    @Dianne Brown, there was nothing in IgotBupkis’ comment that was bigoted, or indicated that he or she had never read the genre. It looked like a pretty fair comment on the florid nature of much pulp writing, and depending on the book, a pretty fair observation on the lack of sexual description. It’s not even clear how you necessarily deteremined that this was written by a amn.

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  17. Jim

    I have read No Mans Land and it while not exceptionally great writing it is ahead of it’s time and not really a bad book.

    surprisingly good work and better writing than you usually get for pulp novels. you wouldn’t have much choice with that subject matter and even now it would not be in the mainstream.

    Reply

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