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A Woman Like That: Lesbian And Bisexual Writers Tell Their Coming Out Stories Paperback – Bargain Price, October 24, 2000
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Although A Woman Like That is full of brave and often wrenching coming-out stories, with the expected emphasis on overcoming social and familial pressure (more than one of these writers describes involuntary stays in mental hospitals), the combined effect of these wonderful memoirs is more erotic than political--and more funny than erotic. In "Picture This," Cecilia Tan describes her suburban mother snapping up copies of Penthouse to send to friends and relatives because it contained Tan's first nationally published fiction. In "What Comes First," Holly Hughes refers in passing to a gay-bashing incident at her college cafeteria--someone threw a fruit cocktail at her--and goes on to recount her difficulty at attracting a lesbian lover. "It had been so easy with men," she recalls, "All you had to do was bend over at the bowling alley and something would happen." Judith Katz remembers a game called "Tom and Tom" that she used to play with two little boys on her street: "Tom and Tom ... were human cartoon characters who ran around together and got their genitalia caught up in all kinds of elastic knots and snags." For some, Desert Hearts; for others, Road Runner. --Regina Marler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Reflecting the breadth and depth of the contemporary lesbian experience, these 31 coming-out stories collected by LarkinAco-editor of Gay and Lesbian Poetry in Our TimeAattest to their editor's training and sensibility as a poet (Cold River, etc.). Most of the featured authors have publishing credits in more than one genre and exhibit a refreshing facility with language. The stylistic and narrative variation, from Judith Katz's rollicking "Born Queer" to Judy Grahn's poetic "Windows," save the book from thematic sameness; the generally crisp prose keeps it from being pedantic. Many of the stories are, by necessity, coming-of-age stories, and several are, predictably, assertions of tomboyhood as a precursor to lesbianism. Several authors reveal the darker implications of breaking the traditional female mold, in moving and serious essays about having been forced into psychiatric treatment (Heather Lewis) and losing custody of children (Minnie Bruce Pratt). These are nicely offset by more lighthearted essays about wearing makeup and dresses, by Tristan Taoromino and Lesl?a Newman. Because Larkin invited mostly established writers to this anthology, it reads a little like a period piece, heavily weighted to the heyday of lesbian feminism in the 1970s and 1980s. With only a few exceptions, the essays are beautifully written, brought to life by humor and telling detail. Enhanced by the period author photos at the close of each essay, this collection could be put to good use in the classroom and especially by budding lesbians. Agent, Sydelle Kramer, Frances Goldin Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
These stories are much more than just biography, they are poetry, pure and unfettered. These authors are not hampered by the desire to be political correct, but only by the desire to tell some truth about their lives, and all are incredibly moving. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the stories kept getting better and better, even though I didn't think that was possible. The diversity of ages, races and geographic territory covered here further adds to this collection's fullness. Lest you think I mean there are token accounts, there are not. Each is fully developed and stands proudly on its own, as well as fitting in with the other works. Tristan Taormino's entry about visiting her queer father as a teenager, and her adventures with her first girlfriend, and Cecilia Tan's amusing and honest tale of her mother coping with (and celebrating) her bisexuality and erotic writing, are especially enjoyable reading.
These tales will be welcome comfort to the lesbian or bisexual reader, but also to any teenager or other person who has every felt alienated, or who simply enjoys biography. The fact that this collection's contributors are all established, published writers adds both fascination to their stories and a quality of writing that is very welcome. These stories stay in the mind long after one closes the book.
what i found instead are a number of interesting 1st-person accounts of what it's like to discover that you're so far outside of the statistical norm that mainstream society can't (or refuses to) accept you as one of their own.
this book is not for everyone; but, i had no problem relating to what i believe to be its larger theme.