Front cover image for Re/sisters in crime: Politics and sexuality in lesbian detective novels

Re/sisters in crime: Politics and sexuality in lesbian detective novels

This dissertation explores the popularity of lesbian detective novels, most of which have been published by lesbian and feminist presses since 1980. Lesbian detective novels use the conventions of the mystery, private eye, and police procedural genres to address significant social and political debates, including the relationship between law and identity, and the role of literature in the construction of queer and American histories. Lesbian narratives of detection first appeared during the Cold War, when underground lesbian and gay periodicals and pulp fiction novels invoked themes of discovery and concealment to address homophobia and oppression. Lesbian detective novels have continued to chronicle lesbian and gay, and American histories: novels written during the early 1980s decry government neglect during the onset of the AIDS epidemic, and those written in the late 1980s express outrage at the Bowers v. Hardwick decision. More recent novels capture the failed promise of the Clinton administration, and condemn religious conservatism
Downloadable Article, English, 2000