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Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America Paperback – February 21, 2012


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Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America + Cures: A Gay Man's Odyssey, Tenth Anniversary Edition + A Desired Past: A Short History of Same-Sex Love in America
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 373 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; Reprint edition (February 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231074891
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231074896
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #375,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Odd Girls reverberates with the powerful voices of people speaking for themselves.... Faderman empowers her subject; instead of allowing lesbian lifestyles to be defined from the outside, her voice and those of other women transcend destructive stereotypes and misconceptions. Odd Girls offers a lucidly written and moving narrative of lesbian culture and community during its formative years.

(The Village Voice)

Fascinating... poignant and moving... Odd Girls is full of facts and wonderful details that readers may not have encountered, things that are a pleasure to learn and that seem valuable to know.

(Los Angeles Times Book Review)

One has to respect the tenacity of Lillian Faderman for making sense of the evolution of lesbian life in twentieth-century America.... This is a remarkable social history.... Her study attains the depth and evenhandedness of a scholarly classic.

(Susan Brownmiller The Washington Post Book World)

An important and challenging work for lesbians and heterosexuals alike.... Odd Girls is a key work, the point of reference which all subsequent studies of twentieth-century lesbian life in the United States will begin.

(San Francisco Examiner)

Faderman's sweeping, mesmerizing prose accentuates the magnificent scholarship in this definitive account of lesbian life in the past 100 years.... Faderman has combined her talent and experience to accomplish this wonder.

(Barbara Grier Lambda Book Report)

Nothing odd about Odd Girls—it combines clear prose with meticulous research. This book is an important contribution to understanding America and its people in our time.

(Rita Mae Brown, author of Rubyfruit Jungle)

A grand narrative synthesis of the cultural, social, and political history of lesbian life since the late nineteenth century.... Engaging and deeply moving stories.

(New York Times Book Review)

A splendid, uplifting achievement.

(The Independent)

About the Author

Lillian Faderman is professor emerita of English at California State University, Fresno, and author of the award-winning Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship and Love Between Women from the Renaissance to the Present and Scotch Verdict: Miss Pirie and Miss Woods v. Dame Cumming Gordon. She is also the author of Naked in the Promised Land: A Memoir and To Believe in Women: What Lesbians Have Done for America--A History, and coauthor of Gay L. A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, And Lipstick Lesbians.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By quiklives on December 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
I first read this book at 16, in the process of searching for an anchor for a newfound identity. I desperately needed some cultural context for my own life, and I was incredibly grateful for this book.

It's a great mix of personal stories and objective history, so that the narrative never gets too dry but still does an excellent job of pulling back to show the bigger picture. It's incredibly well-researched and informative, but also funny and sad and poignant by turn, almost what you would expect from fiction.

The pictures included are amazing in terms of being able to see the march of progress in the faces of real people, as well.

I've re-read it many times since I was a teenager, and it's still fascinating. I keep meaning to read the author's other works, but somehow haven't managed it yet - but my battered old copy of this book has survived numerous moves and oh-god-I-have-to-get-rid-of-some-books moments because I love it so much.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By dan on March 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So impressed with Lillian Faderman. Terrific research and insights into that culture, and the rest of our culture. What this book needs more than anything else is to fill in the 20 year gap between when it was written and today. Thank you Ms Faderman. Wow!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Darlene K. Bogle on May 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Filled with a lot of information about early 20th century lesbian relationships and how so much was hidden because of society ideals. I used it for research.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although slightly outdated as it was published in the early 90s (very minor differences in some terminology) this book is a wonderful compilation of lesbian AND bisexual women's history in the United States. Not only was it a fun read (not totally dry, like some nonfiction) it had tons of primary texts cited. It really goes into depth on all of the combining factors that led to widespread homophobia in the United States too, as well as social dynamics in queer circles in the past. A very interesting read and the photos are a nice addition as well.
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More About the Author

Lillian Faderman is the author of "My Mother's Wars" (Beacon Press, 2013). She is an internationally known scholar of lesbian history and literature, as well as of ethnic and immigrant history. She is the author of such acclaimed works as To Believe in Woman, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, Surpassing the Love of Men, I Begin My Life All Over, and her memoir Naked in the Promised Land.

Photographer Photo Credit Name: Phyllis Irwin, 2012.

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