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Author Topic: Lesbian Fiction  (Read 93925 times)
stanwyck
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« Reply #60 on: October 31, 2010, 8:40:04 PM »

Mabel Maney, the author of the "Nancy Clue" and "Cherry Aimless" (as well as "Hardly Boys") spoofs, has more recently published some Jane Bond books.   Hilarious.

If anyone is looking for a fun read, similar in tone to Mabel Maney, pick up Monica Nolan's Bobby Blanchard, Lesbian Gym Teacher.  A parody with an oh-so-sincere protagonist.

Has anyone mentioned Cynn Chadwick's "Girls with Hammers" and "Cat Rising?"  I forget.  Both are worth a read.  It's set in the US South about women with their own contracting business.  "Cat" is the sequel.

Finally caught hold of the third book in this series (Babies, Bikes and Broads).  A nice read.  It felt a bit thin, but then, I've forgotten almost everything about the first two books. I'm really looking forward to Chadwick's new book.

This morning, I read Susan Gabriel's Seeking Sara Summers.  It was a fairly conventional coming out story, but well written, good company for a cool autumn morning.

The lesfic discussion boards are all abuzz with excitement over Sophia Kell Hagin's Whatever Gods May Be.  Next time I need to reward/bribe myself, I might order it.
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stanwyck
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« Reply #61 on: April 05, 2012, 4:31:46 PM »

Since we last talked:

Thanks for the info.  I have been hoping she'd write another.

Well, Water Mark is available now.  If you read it, will you PM me and tell me the Mickey/Cordelia outcome?

J. M. Redmann is now on book #7. I finally finished Water Mark, but only after putting it down several times. I’m hopeful about the next volume in the series, though. I read an advanced review of Ill Will a couple of weeks ago, and the reviewer claimed it was one of the better books in the series. On the other hand, she also said Mickey’s friends don’t feature in it much—a plus for the reviewer, a negative for me, as I liked the first two books specifically because of the friends.

The lesfic discussion boards are all abuzz with excitement over Sophia Kell Hagin's Whatever Gods May Be.  Next time I need to reward/bribe myself, I might order it.

I did order (and read) the Sophia Kell Hagin’s book. Two literary thumbs up (aside from the protagonist’s odd last name and the persistent repetition of one phrase). Definitely one of the better novels I’ve seen from that press.

My favorite book with a lesbian-ish main character last year was Vanessa Veselka’s Zazen. Not at all surprised that it showed up on the finalist lists for the Oregon Literary Arts’ Oregon Book Award Ken Kesey Prize.

Second in line for last year was Valerie Miner’s After Eden. (I know it’s been out for several years, but that whole “finish your dissertation” thing got in the way of my fiction reading.) It’s completely different from Veselka’s work, but I felt like both authors were telling stories firmly grounded in the west coast landscape (emotionally and physically).

Bywater Books has been doing good things for me lately. Sally Bellerose’s The Girls Club is really well written—partly a story about coming out in the 1970s, partly a story about the grittiness of working class families, really about the challenges of having a body, I think.

If you like romances, Georgia Beers’ 96 Hours hits all the requirements of the genre. It was fine, although I suppose I expected something more from a story set in the middle of 9/11.

Also out of Bywater is Val McDermid’s Trick of the Dark. I know she has a couple of popular crime fiction series, but I’d never read her work before this week. I may have set this one down without reading it, but I noticed that she thanked Manda Scott in her acknowledgments. Since I loved M.C. Scott’s early work (Hen’s Teeth trilogy and No Good Deed; I heard a rumor she might be finishing Absolution, the follow-up to No Good Deed), I had to check it out. At any rate, I really loved the way McDermid wrote it—the language and structure of the novel. I know the bar has been set pretty low for writing in the lesbian fiction world, but even if it had been set abnormally high, this book would have safely made the leap to the other side.

Also nicely written was Ellis Avery’s The Last Nude (based on the life of Tamara de Lempicka). Structurally, the book just didn’t work for me, but since that only affected the last 10% of the book, it didn’t matter that much.

I think Nina Revoyr’s Wingshooters came up on the ‘So what have you read lately’ thread. I liked it quite a lot, but the fora reviews seemed mixed.

Finally, in the romance genre, I’ll say that Karin Kallmaker’s most recent, Rollercoaster, is probably one of her best. I wish she didn't cling so tightly to structuring metaphors, but other than that, it was a nice book--interesting characters, smooth writing. Stepping Stone was also a fun read, particularly if you like romance or Hollywood.

I really, really liked Dodici Azpadu’s Living Room. I wish there were four more volumes with the same protagonist. I like flaws and complications (which may explain my positive feelings for Val McDermid's book). Felicia Donovan’s The French Girl was a good read up until the ¾ mark and then it lost me. The honesty of the opening evaporated into a fairy tale ending. I’d still recommend it, though. Also enjoyed Ann McMan’s Dust, more of a political thriller than romance. An unexpected pleasure because I didn’t finish her first book, Jericho.

Other than these, I think I’ve caught up on all of Ivan Coyote’s work. What should I read next? I heard that Carol Anshaw is releasing a new novel--has anyone read it?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 4:34:28 PM by stanwyck » Logged
mended_drum
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« Reply #62 on: April 05, 2012, 5:37:21 PM »

I think Nina Revoyr’s Wingshooters came up on the ‘So what have you read lately’ thread. I liked it quite a lot, but the fora reviews seemed mixed.

What about A Necessary Hunger?
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"dr. mended_drum don't give a sh!t; she will chew me up like a cobra."
stanwyck
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« Reply #63 on: April 05, 2012, 8:56:46 PM »

What about A Necessary Hunger?

Wow, it's been a long time since I read that book. I remember liking it, though. Maybe I'll track it down and read it again. I loved Revoyr's Southland. I lived on the south edge of downtown LA when I was young, and Southland helped me think through some of the...incidents...that I had to deal with back there and then. Plus, I really like her writing. Wingshooters has an austerity that works for me, but it's a much slighter book that her earlier ones.
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barcrossliar
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« Reply #64 on: April 05, 2012, 9:49:49 PM »

I have to check some of these out.  I liked earlier books by Revoyr, Miner, McDermid, Scott, Hagin, and Redmann, but haven't been keeping up.  Kallmaker was a little too formulaic for me.

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Every educated person's not a plumb greenhorn.

"where whining mendeth nothing, wherefore whine?"--R.L. Stevenson

+-LR is wise. Listen.
stanwyck
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« Reply #65 on: April 07, 2012, 11:18:33 PM »

I have to check some of these out.  I liked earlier books by Revoyr, Miner, McDermid, Scott, Hagin, and Redmann, but haven't been keeping up.  Kallmaker was a little too formulaic for me.

I agree about the formulaic approach, but then, that's not just Kallmaker. I don't spend much money on books coming out of Bella because they mostly publish predictable romances. At least I liked the characters in Rollercoaster. I can tell Kallmaker has teenager around the house, too.

Robin Summers' After the Fall was decent for a first novel and a romance, probably because it was set in a dystopian future and I'm always up for the breakdown of civilization as we know it.

I wish Lee Lynch had something new out. I tend to hold on to her books until I feel guilty about not passing them on to the campus lgbt library.

I'm seriously thinking about posting to the major lesfic discussion groups to offer free consulting services to anyone who wants to write a novel with an academic character. I had to put down yet another book last night because of the inaccuracies surrounding the main character's academic career. My teeth start grinding when I read that the protagonist was simultaneously on the tenure track and going up for Full Professor. A few months ago, I abandoned a novel because one of the lead characters, a physical anthropologist, was going up for Full at the age of 32. But! She was afraid she wouldn't make Full because she didn't have any publications yet. She only managed to find her new archaeological project because her department chair made all the arrangements for her. No way she's making Full at an R1. I've lost count of the lesbian novels I've abandoned for similar mistakes. It's time for me to intervene.
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barcrossliar
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« Reply #66 on: April 08, 2012, 8:37:33 AM »

Fight the good fight, Stanwyck!  The science errors drive me nuts.  I remember one Rita Mae Brown where she repeatedly called a turtle an amphibian and confused the long- and short-term methods for detecting poisons.
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Every educated person's not a plumb greenhorn.

"where whining mendeth nothing, wherefore whine?"--R.L. Stevenson

+-LR is wise. Listen.
prof_smartypants
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You're getting hosed by small minds with no game.


« Reply #67 on: April 16, 2012, 8:31:28 PM »

I'm sure I've posted this before, but has anyone read any Blanche Boyd? What are your thoughts?
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systeme_d_
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No T, no shade. Usually.


« Reply #68 on: April 17, 2012, 2:16:58 AM »

I'm sure I've posted this before, but has anyone read any Blanche Boyd? What are your thoughts?

I read The Revolution of Little Girls, and I thought it was okay.  Well, truthfully, I'd say "meh."  It's kind of a mash-up of Rubyfruit Jungle and Bastard Out of Carolina, closer to the former than the latter.  (The former is the most competently written of all of Brown's books, but I'd say very little approaches the quality of Allison's work!)

However, I am probably a lousy person to ask.  I am not a fan of most lesbian fiction.  I love Dorothy Allison and Jeannette Winterson, and I really like Sarah Waters, but that's about it.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2012, 2:17:56 AM by systeme_d_ » Logged

arizona
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« Reply #69 on: April 17, 2012, 9:54:51 AM »

I agree that Blanche Boyd is just okay.

As I mentioned on another thread, I just read Emily Danforth's The Miseducation of Cameron Post and it was excellent. It's marketed as YA, but at nearly 500 pages, it's pretty substantial and very well-written.
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mended_drum
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« Reply #70 on: April 17, 2012, 10:41:18 AM »

I think Nina Revoyr’s Wingshooters came up on the ‘So what have you read lately’ thread. I liked it quite a lot, but the fora reviews seemed mixed.

What about A Necessary Hunger?

I asked because I've taught it several times in Sports Fiction courses, and the students really love the novel.
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"dr. mended_drum don't give a sh!t; she will chew me up like a cobra."
stanwyck
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Posts: 1,399


« Reply #71 on: April 17, 2012, 1:00:39 PM »

I think Nina Revoyr’s Wingshooters came up on the ‘So what have you read lately’ thread. I liked it quite a lot, but the fora reviews seemed mixed.

What about A Necessary Hunger?

I asked because I've taught it several times in Sports Fiction courses, and the students really love the novel.

I see that it's currently on the shelf in one of our public libraries. Just for you, I'll pick it up later today, re-read it, and work out a fresh opinion.

I agree that Blanche Boyd is just okay.

As I mentioned on another thread, I just read Emily Danforth's The Miseducation of Cameron Post and it was excellent. It's marketed as YA, but at nearly 500 pages, it's pretty substantial and very well-written.

I agree re: Blanche Boyd--for me, the "meh" is less about the plot and more about the edge toward the picaresque. But then, ask my friends and family: I have no sense of humor.

I liked Danforth's book, too, although my attention wandered during the second half. I think if I was the editor, I would've collapsed that half in favor of extending the final 1-2 sections. But that's a pretty small criticism and probably fed by my dislike for most of the characters in that section.

However, I am probably a lousy person to ask.  I am not a fan of most lesbian fiction.  I love Dorothy Allison and Jeannette Winterson, and I really like Sarah Waters, but that's about it.

Système_d, have you read Winterson's new autobiography? I read it weekend before last. If you have, I'd love to discuss it with you. I also want to talk to someone who's read McDermid's Trick of the Dark. I've been bursting to say something about it, but it would be an instant spoiler for those who haven't read it yet.

p.s. I swear I don't sit around and read novels all day and night, I do pay attention to my work, too. It's just that I've been trying to combat the isolation that is VAPland for the past two semesters. Carry on.
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anorak
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« Reply #72 on: May 10, 2012, 8:44:13 AM »

However, I am probably a lousy person to ask.  I am not a fan of most lesbian fiction.  I love Dorothy Allison and Jeannette Winterson, and I really like Sarah Waters, but that's about it.

Système_d, have you read Winterson's new autobiography? I read it weekend before last. If you have, I'd love to discuss it with you. I also want to talk to someone who's read McDermid's Trick of the Dark. I've been bursting to say something about it, but it would be an instant spoiler for those who haven't read it yet.

I recently picked up Winterson's autobiography but haven't started reading it yet.  It's on my list to read before the end of the month, though.

Does anyone know when Sarah Waters is due to have another book out?
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systeme_d_
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Posts: 16,159

No T, no shade. Usually.


« Reply #73 on: May 10, 2012, 4:11:41 PM »

However, I am probably a lousy person to ask.  I am not a fan of most lesbian fiction.  I love Dorothy Allison and Jeannette Winterson, and I really like Sarah Waters, but that's about it.

Système_d, have you read Winterson's new autobiography? I read it weekend before last. If you have, I'd love to discuss it with you. I also want to talk to someone who's read McDermid's Trick of the Dark. I've been bursting to say something about it, but it would be an instant spoiler for those who haven't read it yet.

I recently picked up Winterson's autobiography but haven't started reading it yet.  It's on my list to read before the end of the month, though.

Does anyone know when Sarah Waters is due to have another book out?

Sorry it took so long for me to see this, Stanwyck!
I have not read Winterson's autobiography, but I plan to get to it in June, when I am finished teaching.  I'll post here when I do!
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stanwyck
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« Reply #74 on: May 10, 2012, 5:30:17 PM »

I read a YA novel last week, 'cause that's how I roll....

Actually, I read two: Malinda Lo's Huntress and Ash. If you like fairy tales, I recommend these. I read Huntress first (learned a new word about five pages in--can't decide if that's because I have the vocabulary of a thirteen year old or it's an infrequently used word). It's not complicated writing, but I was sucked into the story pretty quickly. I'm sad there won't be more books set in the same universe. Ash was better than I expected it to be (a re-telling of Cinderella? Again?) but a very quick read.

Système_d, have you read Winterson's new autobiography? I read it weekend before last. If you have, I'd love to discuss it with you. I also want to talk to someone who's read McDermid's Trick of the Dark. I've been bursting to say something about it, but it would be an instant spoiler for those who haven't read it yet.

I recently picked up Winterson's autobiography but haven't started reading it yet.  It's on my list to read before the end of the month, though.

Does anyone know when Sarah Waters is due to have another book out?

Sorry it took so long for me to see this, Stanwyck!
I have not read Winterson's autobiography, but I plan to get to it in June, when I am finished teaching.  I'll post here when I do!

Good and good, Système_d and anorak. I'd really love to hear opinions on it (my feelings remained mixed, weeks after finishing it).

According to this interview, Sarah Waters planned to have a new book by the end of this year. I haven't seen any news about it, though, so....

I've been listening to Waters' The Night Watch on CD during my commute. I think I'm going to give up on it, though. I mean, give up on listening to it--the narration makes me want to stick sharp objects in my ears. I hope I can find a print copy at the public library.
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