A REAL LESBIAN MYSTERY SOLVED
In a rare moment of candor regarding her personal life, author Patricia
Cornwell talked to The
Daily Telegraph about her new novel, Book of the Dead, and
spoke about her relationship with her female partner. Cornwell dedicated the
book to “Dr Staci Gruber, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry,
Harvard Medical School, and Associate Director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging
Laboratory, McLean Hospital,” whom she she married in Massachusetts in 2005.
Cornwell has never before spoken publicly about her lesbianism or gay and lesbian
rights, but when the Daily Telegraph reporter recently asked how her
marriage to Gruber has made a difference in her life, Cornwell spoke at length
about how she met Gruber, her own experiences with homophobia and religious
fundamentalism, and her passionate beliefs about the necessity for gay marriage
rights in the United States. (Read the interview in its entirety here.)
In the past, Cornwell has been evasive with the media about her own
sexual orientation and her relationship with Gruber. In fact, in a July 2005 interview
with the Telegraph, Cornwell referred to Gruber as her "traveling
companion." It’s a quaint euphemism for that special person who loves you enough to take the middle seat so that you can sit on the aisle.
DESERT HEARTS AUTHOR JANE RULE DIES
Writer Jane Rule died this week at the age of 76 in
British Columbia, Canada, from complications from liver cancer. Rule is perhaps best
known for her first novel, Desert of the Heart (1964), which was later
made into the iconic lesbian film Desert
Hearts, directed by out filmmaker Donna
Deitch and starring Helen
Shaver and Patricia Charbonneau (read our review
of the film here).
Rule wrote a dozen books and was politically active throughout her life. Though
Rule was a vocal opponent of gay marriage (seeing it as a wrong-headed move
toward conventional, state-regulated unions), she was in a 45-year relationship
with her partner, Helen Sonthoff, until Sonthoff’s death in
To learn more about Rule’s life and career, read this article about her at 365Gay.com.
Queer filmmaker and journalist Lydia Marcus is currently making a documentary about the cultural impact of the film Desert Hearts. Below is a clip from the film, featuring her interview with stars Shaver and Charbonneau:
It’s nice to see that even 20 years later, they haven’t lost the spark.