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Odd girls and twilight lovers : a history of lesbian life in twentieth-century America

Author: Lillian Faderman
Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, ©1991.
Series: Between men--between women.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This compelling story of lesbian life in the twentieth century traces the evolution of lesbian identity and subcultures from the early years of the century--when career opportunities first enabled women to support themselves and spend their lives in "romantic friendships" with other women--to the diversity of today's life styles. Faderman uses journals, unpublished manuscripts, songs, news accounts, novels, medical  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Lillian Faderman
ISBN: 0231074883 9780231074889 0231074891 9780231074896
OCLC Number: 22906565
Awards: Gay and Lesbian Book Award (American Library Association), 1992
Lambda Literary Award, 1991
Description: viii, 373 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Contents: "The loves of women for each other" : "romantic friends" in the twentieth century --
A worm in the bud : the early sexologists and love between women --
Lesbian chic: experimentation and repression in the 1920s --
Wastelands and oases: the 1930s --
"Naked amazons and queer damozels" : World War II and its aftermath --
The love that dares not speak its name : McCarthyism and its legacy --
Butches, femmes, and kikis : creating lesbian subcultures in the 1950s and '60s --
"Not a public relations movement" : lesbian revolutions in the 1960s through '70s --
Lesbian Nation : creating a women-identified-women community in the 1970s --
Lesbian sex wars in the 1980s --
From tower of Babel to community: lesbian life in the 1980s --
Epilogue: Social constructions and the metamorphoses of love between women.
Series Title: Between men--between women.
Responsibility: Lillian Faderman.

Abstract:

This compelling story of lesbian life in the twentieth century traces the evolution of lesbian identity and subcultures from the early years of the century--when career opportunities first enabled women to support themselves and spend their lives in "romantic friendships" with other women--to the diversity of today's life styles. Faderman uses journals, unpublished manuscripts, songs, news accounts, novels, medical literature, and numerous personal interviews with lesbians of all races, ages, and classes, to uncover and relate this often surprising narrative of lesbian life in America. Lesbian identity could emerge, Faderman maintains, only during that time, with the sexual freedom of the 1920s and the 1960s, as well as the social freedom made possible by World War II, the education of women, and the civil rights and women's movements. The term "lesbian" did not become current until the late nineteenth century, when European sexologists began to explore female same-sex loving. Where close relationships between women had once been accepted--even encouraged--the sexologists stigmatized same-sex pairing as deviant, but at the same time fostered a lesbian consciousness which was necessary before lesbian communities could be formed. This book tells how women who accepted the label "lesbian" altered the sexologists' definitions, creating identities and ideologies for themselves.--Adapted from book jacket.

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Odd Girls reverberates with the powerful voices of people speaking for themselves... Faderman empowers her subject; instead of allowing lesbian lifestyles to be defined from the outside, her voice Read more...

 
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