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A Restricted Country Paperback – May, 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Joan Nestle's work embodies a very large vision."

About the Author

Joan Nestle was born in the Bronx in 1940 and spent most of her life in New York City, where, in 1958, she entered public lesbian life in the bars of Greenwich Village. She taught writing in the SEEK Program at Queens College from 1965 to 1990. In 1974 she cofounded the Lesbian Herstory Archives which still thrives today in its Brooklyn home. Her own provinciality ended, she hopes, when she moved to Melbourne, Australia, in 2002 to be with her lover, Dianne Otto. At seventy-three Nestle is most grateful when she is forced to see with new eyes that which she thought she knew. She is the author of A Restricted Country (Cleis Press, 2003) and A Fragile Union (Cleis Press, 1998) and editor of seven other books exploring the lesbian body and imagination.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Cleis Press; 2nd edition (May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157344152X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573441520
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,059,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book of essays is one of my most favorite books about lesbian herstory.
Joan Nestle is a co-founder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn, NY, and her passion for remembering and honoring lesbian life and culture can be seen in this collection. From the perspective of a witness/participant in the pre-Stonewall era of gay life in NYC, Nestle recreates the courage and the struggles of lesbians to find each other and create community in the '50s and '60s. Nestle's writing is beautiful and moving; this book is unique.
I highly recommend this book for everyone who wants an understanding of lesbian life and culture during these particular years; I especially recommend this book for younger lesbians and gay men who are interested in understanding the lives and sacrifices of the generation previous, who helped create what we know and enjoy as contemporary lesbian and gay culture.
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Format: Paperback
I haven't read a Joan Nestle book before I picked up, "A Restricted Country." She writes engaging first hand accounts of her entire life as it spanned from early childhood to her present days.

She lived during trying times, and fought against the pressures of the world to control who she was. There is something to say about discovering who we are, and why we are unique. Self discovery is lost is a lot of biographies which focus on the political and bitterness of the conforming pain. However Joan highlights these in a way that seems more human; she talks about where she was and what she was doing when something happened. When we think about 9/11 we might recall ourselves in a place or undertaking some task, that otherwise would have gone unremarkable. This marks patterns of growth in her personality as well as her style in her writing.

To put yourself in her shoes as a child, and then a few pages later be walking around the city as a teenager comes with great flow and ease. The mistake I make as a reader is when a work sets me back and I fall out of the narrative. I like feeling engaged and part of the story, so pages disappear, and suddenly the last few pages of the book are passing and I can't recall where the rest went. With this story I flew through the pages, they seemed real, and left little bias on me as a reader. She covers the scenarios really well and I recommend others to pick up the book and change your outlook.

The message of sex; as taboo as it is, definitely has it's place in the world. Joan Nestle leaves no leaf in that category uncovered.
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Format: Paperback
A Restricted Country is the personal and candid testimony of lesbian activist, speaker, and working class woman Joan Nestle. Originally published in 1987, this new edition of A Restricted Country now features new black-and-white photographs and a new introduction. Joan Nestle's core musings concerning censorship, memories, the "historical sisterhood" of lesbians and prostitutes, sexual changes in society throughout the twentieth century, and more, offer timeless insights and a renewed appreciation of what it means to be lesbian.
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Joan Nestle's book A Restricted Country was a required reading for my women's studies college class. Although I picked up the book reluctantly because I thought I could not relate to a writer who is a lesbian feminist activist, I was surprised after only a few pages by how engrossed I was by Joan Nestle's life. From her recollection of being a Jew, raised by a single mother, and being a lesbian, Nestle grabbed my attention through her stories. By describing life's difficulties, the book draws the reader into segments of Joan Nestle's life where she fought against oppression and dedicated her life to helping others. Joan Nestle demonstrated herself as a survivor through her personal testimony. Stories and episodes described in the book help the reader relate to difficulties of being a feminist in the 1950's and 1960's. I recommend this book to all women regardless of their social status or sexual orientation. The book helps the reader understand the importance of staying true to who you are.
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Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book and should not be missed.

The last entry "Hope" has such power - of desire and spirit that you eagerly want more from this tremendous talent.

I bought this book because it is recommended reading by Tee A. Corinne in her anthology `Lovers - love and sex stories' making special mention of "the density and complex levels of caring" in the story `Esther'.

Synopsis -In this collection of stories, speeches and personal essays, Joan Nestle covers her experiences in the civil rights, feminist, and gay and lesbian rights movements, from the 1950s through the 1980s. She writes about the struggle, the sense of working together, and the real changes in society that came about because she and others took a stand. A RESTRICTED COUNTRY has been considered an essential book since its publication in the late 1980s.
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