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Strange Sisters: The Art of Lesbian Pulp Fiction 1949-1969 Paperback – August 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Studio; Second Printing edition (August 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140284028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140284027
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #918,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Do you walk alone, a twilight lover? Odd one out? Warped? Troubled? Twisted? Jaye Zimet, a Brooklyn book designer and collector, has filled Strange Sisters with over 200 sleazily appealing book covers from the boom years of the lesbian pulp novel, arranging them in groups from "Positive Portraits" and more ambitious "Cliterature" to "Psycho-Babble" and an entire section devoted to cleavage. Although large numbers of their original readers in the '50s and '60s were lesbians or protolesbians hoping for a glimpse of themselves or for some tenuous connection to an almost mythical community of "unnatural lovers," the covers of these books were clearly targeted to a primary audience of furtive young men. Scantily clad, buxom blondes simper under the gaze of older, "experienced" brunettes sometimes wearing trousers or short hair but never without lipstick. To the eye of Ann Bannon and her contemporaries, these women seemed as "straight as a pine tree." But "despite the almost comical distance between the covers and the contents," Bannon concludes in her foreword, "the books found both their intended audiences.... If there was a solitary woman on the cover, provocatively dressed, and the title conveyed her rejection by society or her self-loathing, it was a lesbian book." --Regina Marler

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
The art reproductions are excellent, with interesting text.
popular culture lover
The book is basically a collection of full color reproductions of the cover art of lesbian-themed books.
Michael J. Mazza
This collection features covers from lesbian pulp fiction of that era and the cleavage is eye-popping!
Lesbian Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lesbian Reader on February 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
The 50s and 60s strapped women into undergear that created cleavage only since surpassed by Xena. This collection features covers from lesbian pulp fiction of that era and the cleavage is eye-popping! It's delightful to thumb through, a real blast from the past to read.
Aside from the cover art is the copy from the covers. Phrases like "The Savage Novel of a Lesbian on the Loose" and "Blunt revelations of what happens when deviate women seek advancement in the business world" and "His new girl-wife was a vibrant, virgin beauty...and a sensual, shrewd, licentious lesbian!"
Then there's the pure trash ... titles like "Satan was a lesbian" and "Man Hater" with covers so campy they made me laugh. All in all, this a really fun book and quite a conversation piece!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on August 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
I was really intrigued by "Strange Sisters: The Art of Lesbian Pulp Fiction 1949-1969," by Jaye Zimet. The book also features a foreword by writer Ann Bannon. The book is basically a collection of full color reproductions of the cover art of lesbian-themed books.
Pictured is the art from books with titles like "Women's Barracks," "Women in Prison," "Reform School Girls," "Warped Women," and "By Love Depraved." There is a gallery of art from Bannon's historically significant books, as well as a gallery of covers from different editions of "The Well of Loneliness" (the mother of all lesbian novels). The cover art is often titillating, often outrageous; there are occasional hints of violence and some really poignant images. A fascinating historical collection of images of lesbianism in popular culture.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By popular culture lover on July 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
As a straight male and a pulp/paperback enthusiast, I approached this book curiously, wondering if I was really its "intended audience." I didn't know whether the book had some hidden agenda. After a look, I see that it's a real gem and no political manifesto. This is a great exposition of the illustrators who (at least then) toiled in anonimity, creating this wonderfully evocative art. The art reproductions are excellent, with interesting text. I recommend.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
The collecting of vintage Lesbiana paperbacks has boomed recently. Strange Sisters is a compilation of the cover art work from these paperbacks from Jaye Zimet's collection. The covers are beautifully reproduced with a brief blurb about the artist. It is a great book visually but lacks scholarship. The forward by Ann Bannon is the only part of the book that adds to our knowledge about the creation and importance of this genre. More bibliographic information and an overview of the importance of lesbiana paperbacks in lesbian literature would have made this book something more than a piece of eye candy. It is still great fun and a must for any paperback collector. You can also see an article about this book in Details magazine.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lori Ubell on July 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent reference book for collectors of lesbiana, general paperback collectors, and book dealers. Practically every lesbian pb printed in the 50s and 60s is shown. The only problem: if you are a collector you may die of envy, since the author owns all the titles!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While the books themselves may have been less-than-memorable, the cover art of these steamy paperbacks was often very erotic! I especially liked the ones showing the older, experienced, dark-haired lesbian woman eyeing her intended target, usually a younger, half-dressed, innocent blonde girl! Very hot stuff! Would that they actually wrote stories that could live up to their book covers!
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