Grace Chu: The Beebo Brinker Chronicles by Ann Bannon — a lesbian pulp fiction series that doesn’t end with a main character being institutionalized or dying. Sure, a suicidal crazy person does make an appearance, and Beebo does have a nervous breakdown, but she is all better at the end, where she seems to find happiness with her ex’s ex. I guess the concept of six degrees of
lesbian ex separation was around in the 1950s as well.
Lily Tomlin was also a fan of the series and, a couple of years ago, she
produced the theatrical adaptation of The Beebo Brinker Chronicles in a
successful off-Broadway run.
Trish Bendix: One of my favorites is Among Other Things, I’ve Taken Up Smoking by Aoibheann Sweeney. The novel is so beautifully written — with many references and allegories mythology — and follows 18-year-old Miranda as she moves from her home in Maine to New York City. There she discovers her father’s past as a gay man, as well as her own interest in Ana, the androgynous coffee cart girl.
Miranda’s summer in the city gives her a lot of insight into the history of her family and her own identity, and the descriptions of both her isolated island home on a lake in Maine to the tiny room she occupies at the Institute for Classical Studies in the city give you a clear feeling of how lost she feels until she pulls all of the pieces together. I’ve recommended this book to straight and gay friends and they all love it.
Mia Jones: My favorite lesbian book character would have to be Molly Bolt, Rita Mae Brown‘s semi-autobiographical character from Rubyfruit Jungle.
She reminded me a bit of myself, minus the being homeless and being paid to throw grapefruits at naked men parts. She was never apologetic about who she was from a very early age, got into the pants of some of the prettiest girls in her school and overall was able to survive on street smarts.
What’s your favorite gay lady read?