Katherine V Forrest Shares Her Lesbian Fiction Journey

Katherine V Forrest Shares Her Lesbian Fiction Journey on this episode of Les Do Books with Tara Scott

In this episode, Tara is joined by Katherine V. Forrest, author of the iconic Curious Wine, Kate Delafield mystery series and Coral Dawn sci fi series. She shares the first lesbian fiction books she found, what what excites her about the current state of the genre, and her hopes for the future.

Listen to this episode here

Check out the books Katherine V. Forrest discusses:

The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

Publisher Wordsworth Editions

Available on Audiobook Yes, narrated by Cecilia Fage

Synopsis

Stephen Gordon (named by a father desperate for a son) is not like other girls: she hunts, she fences, she reads books, wears trousers, and longs to cut her hair. As she grows up amidst the stifling grandeur of Morton Hall, the locals begin to draw away from her, aware of some indefinable thing that sets her apart. And when Stephen Gordon reaches maturity, she falls passionately in love – with another woman.

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Odd Girl Out by Ann Bannon

Publisher Cleis Press

Available on Audiobook Yes, narrated by Kate Rudd

Synopsis

The classic 1950s love story from the Queen of Lesbian Pulp Fiction, and author of Odd Girl Out, I Am a Woman, Women in the Shadows, Journey to a Woman and Beebo Brinker

She was the brain, the sparkle, the gay rebel of the sorority, and wonders of wonders, she chose Laura as her roommate. That was how it began…

Suddenly they were alone on an island of forbidden bliss

Taking a pseudonym in the interest of privacy, Bannon wrote her first book, Odd Girl Out, as a coming-of-age novel that involved love between college sorority sisters. When an editor singled-out the school-girl romance as her story’s most compelling feature, the book was re-written for a lesbian pulp fiction audience. Unlike most pulps, however, Bannon broke with tradition by avoiding sensationalistic plots in favour of emotionally engaged character development. Odd Girl Out enjoyed tremendous success, inspiring other ground-breaking works, most notably Beebo Brinker.

“Odd Girl Out begins the saga of Laura, off on her own at college, appallingly shy and terminally polite…Laura meets Beth, whose brash straightforwardness and friendly attitude take the younger woman by storm, leading into an equally stormy affair” Metro Times

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Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller

Publisher Arsenal Pulp Press

Available on Audiobook Yes, Jean Smart and Janis Ian

Synopsis

Grammy Award Nominee, Best Spoken Word Album, 2016

Set in the 19th century, Isabel Miller’s classic lesbian novel traces the relationship between Patience White, an educated painter, and Sarah Dowling, a farmer’s daughter, whose romantic bond does not sit well with the puritanical New England community in which they live. They choose to live together and love each other freely, even though they know of no precedents for their relationship; they must trust their own instincts and see beyond the disdain of their neighbors.

Patience and Sarah is a meticulously researched historical novel, originally self-published by the author in 1969. This classic of GLBT literature garnered so much attention that the American Library Association created its first Stonewall Award specifically for it in 1971. Grammy Award-winning narrator Janis Ian and Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress Jean Smart each perform as one of the characters in this dual-point-of-view love story. Their narration marks the first time that this beautiful work is available in audio and brings new life into this inspiring novel that is just as relevant today as it was decades ago.

In addition to being an inspiring love story, the audiobook for Patience and Sarah is an ideal listen for young-adult audiences. It is a story that shows how irrelevant race, religion, and gender are to love and that loving and being loved are what keep us human and sane.

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The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

Publisher Hachette Audio UK

Available on Audiobook Yes, narrated by Laurel Lefkow

Synopsis

Therese is just an ordinary sales assistant working in a New York department store when an alluring woman in her 30s walks up to her counter. Standing there, Therese is wholly unprepared for the first shock of love. She is an awkward 19-year-old with a job she hates and a boyfriend she doesn’t love; Carol is a sophisticated, bored suburban housewife in the throes of a divorce and a custody battle for her only daughter.

As Therese becomes irresistibly drawn into Carol’s world, she soon realises how much they both stand to lose….

First published pseudonymously in 1952 as The Price of SaltCarol is a hauntingly atmospheric love story set against the backdrop of ’50s New York.

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Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

Publisher Vintage Digita

Available on Audiobook No

Synopsis

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY RITA MAE BROWN

Molly Bolt is a young lady with a big character. Beautiful, funny and bright, Molly figures out at a young age that she will have to be tough to stay true to herself in 1950s America. In her dealings with boyfriends and girlfriends, in the rocky relationship with her mother and in her determination to pursue her career, she will fight for her right to happiness. Charming, proud and inspiring, Molly is the girl who refuses to be put in a box.

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Desert of the Heart by Jane Rule

Publisher

Available on Audiobook

Synopsis

“A landmark work of lesbian fiction” and the basis for the acclaimed film Desert Hearts (The New York Times).

Against the backdrop of Reno, Nevada, in the late 1950s, award-winning author Jane Rule chronicles a love affair between two women.
When Desert of the Heart opens, Evelyn Hall is on a plane that will take her from her old life in Oakland, California, to Reno, where she plans to divorce her husband of sixteen years. A voluntary exile in a brave new world, she meets a woman who will change her life.
Fifteen years younger, Ann Childs works as a change apron in a casino. Evelyn is instantly drawn to the fiercely independent Ann, and their friendship soon evolves into a romantic relationship. An English professor who had always led a conventional life, Evelyn suddenly finds all her beliefs about love, morality, and identity called into question.
Peopled by a cast of unforgettable characters, this is a novel that dares to ask whether love between two women can last.

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Spring Fire by Vin Packer

Publisher Audible Studios

Available on Audiobook Yes, narrated by Lucy Malone

Synopsis

Spring Fire was the first lesbian pulp novel ever published. The original 1950s cover blared: “A story once told in whispers now frankly, honestly written.” Shameless and seductive in an era when lesbian lives were hidden from view, Spring Fire chronicles the story of Leda and Mitch, two sorority sisters at a Midwestern university who stumble into a forbidden love affair. While their romance ends unhappily – in order to satisfy US postal inspectors who would have seized shipments of a novel that affirmed lesbian love – Spring Fire touched the lives of countless lesbian and gay readers and cleared the way for the hundreds of lesbian pulps that were to come. This edition includes a new introduction by the author, describing the story behind the novel’s initial publication.

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Find Katherine V. Forrest online

Lullabye (Sting) by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

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