Browsing: Lesbians

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WHY ARE WE still interested in the lesbian hipster? In part it’s because we can’t stop lurking around her pictures on Facebook, which are beyond cute. But it’s mostly because the “lesbian” and “hipster” worlds seem to have converged so naturally that there’s clearly something going on past Generation X/Y’s universal adoption of any eastward-blowing trend-wind.

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Reviews of Inseparable, The Paris Letters of Thomas Eakins, Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man’s Smile: A Mystery, A Trace of Smoke, and Pacific Agony.

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Reviews of the books Something to Declare : Good Lesbian Travel Writing, Interruptions: A Novel, The Resurrection of the Body: Pier Paolo Pasolini from Saint Paul to Sade, Sordid Truths: Selling My Innocence for a Taste of Stardom, and the film The Country Teacher.

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HARRIET HOSMER (1830-1908) was a lesbian sculptor who emigrated from the United States to Rome at an early age to become part of an expatriate community of writers and artists, including a circle of prominent “independent women.” She worked in marble, and the quality of her surviving sculptures is extraordinary. The operative word is surviving: much of Hosmer’s work has been lost or destroyed, preserved in sketches and descriptions in dusty catalogs but otherwise forgotten.

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Reborn is a study of a complex women whose private life and secret self, including her sexual ambiguity, are at least as mesmerizing as her published works.

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EIGHTY YEARS AGO, The Well of Loneliness was condemned by the English

courts as an obscene libel and “burned in the King’s furnace.” The book

was indicted and censored solely because of its lesbian theme, for its

prose has no spice or sleaze at all. Nothing very sexy goes on in it.

“She kissed her full on the lips” and “That night they were not

divided” are as hot as its descriptions of lesbian lovemaking get.

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In Two Lives Malcolm, Malcolm makes good use of quotations from writers and historians, as well as books written by Stein and Toklas, particularly Wars I Have Seen and The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book. 

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BORN IN VIENNA, Austria, on July 31, 1932, to an official of the U.S. diplomatic corps and his wife, Barbara Gittings was a daughter dedicated to freedom. With passion, creativity, and relentless determination, she helped shape and lead one of the 20th century’s most significant struggles for social change, the gay and lesbian rights movement. Remarkably …

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While it can serve nicely as a coffee-table book, sure to elicit laughs, sighs, and moans from browsers, Women in Pants is also a book of serious scholarship that will, as the authors suggest, “encourage more questions than it answers” and thus send at least some readers on a search for more information about the historical and cultural context for these fascinating images.

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