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BOOK LIST:

Lesbian Literature

Updated: August 26, 2015

Novels, plays, and poetry with characters, plots about or by lesbian writers.


by Garden, Nancy.
 
Nancy Garden's groundbreaking story of two high school girls falling in love and dealing with the reactions of their parents and community by holding tighter to each other.

Call Number: 811.08 A6685
A collection of love poetry by over 80 lesbian poets from around the world. "I ask myself and you, which of our visions will claim us/which will we claim/how will we go on living/how will we touch, what will we know/what will we say to each other." -Adrienne Rich

by Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946.
Call Number: 813 S819S-5

These are personal, informal and unguarded notes between Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas.


by Walker, Alice, 1944-
Call Number: Ed.f
Celie is a poor, black woman in 1930s American south whose relentless abuse by the men in her life threaten to make this story a tragedy. But tenacity, a momentous character evolution, and the kindness (and love) of women transform her into one of the greatest female characters in literature.

by Waters, Sarah, 1966-
 
Victorian England is the setting for this tale of pickpockets, orphaned girls, and depraved morality. A prince-and-the-pauper sort of spin backed by meticulous historical research makes this love story compelling, gritty and full of surprises.

by Flagg, Fannie.
 
Idgy and Ruth open a restaurant in early-1900s southern America and, although they deal with conflicts ranging from the Ku Klux Klan to spousal abuse, their life is a love story accepted unquestionably by their community. The friends-turned-lovers element is more explicitly defined in the book than it was in the movie, and this is a sweet story about coming-of-age and a meeting of soul mates.

by Breedlove, Lynn.
 

Hurtling through San Francisco on a bicycle, Jim is torn between speed (both on her bike and in her veins) and her sexy stripper girlfriend. When Ally gets tired of endlessly losing the battle, Jim hits the road and rock bottom as a roadie for her all-girl punk band. Breedlove, lead singer of the lesbian punk band Tribe 8, evokes the drug-lust of Irvine Welsh, the wacky wanderlust of Hunter S. Thompson, bound together by Charles Bukowski's endless obsession with women.


by Winterson, Jeanette, 1959-
 

Jeanette humorously recalls her childhood in northern England with an evangelical Christian adoptive family. As Jeanette becomes an adolescent and comes to terms with her attraction to women, the precarious balance that held the family together begins to wobble.


by Highsmith, Patricia, 1921-1995.
Call Number: Ed.a

A struggling department store salesgirl becomes enamored with a wealthy suburban sophisticate in 1950s New York City. Stylish Carol and ingénue Therese make a thrilling (yet dysfunctional) twosome in this lesbian take on a classic romance.


Call Number: 810.8 Q35-1

A collection of LGBTQ stories, poems, memories of coming out--from writers who share their experiences about the American South.


by Tea, Michelle.
 

14-year-old Trisha feels trapped at home with a hypochondriac mother, her mom's loser boyfriend, and a sister obsessed with reality TV. When Trisha meets Rose at her crappy job, she leaves it all to follow Rose on an epic journey of chemical-fueld romance.


by Brown, Rita Mae.
Call Number: Ed.d
Molly is a poor, southern tomboy who has to fight for everything, and she does so with humor and self-confidence, even when she discovers she prefers women to men. One of the foremost coming-of-age stories for American lesbians, this book blew the lid off the women's movement when it was published in the early 70s and still has touching moments (especially the first half of the book).

by Feinberg, Leslie, 1949-2014.
Call Number: Ed.a

Feinberg's semi-autobiographical novel about growing up butch and Jewish in working-class Buffalo, New York during the 1950s paints a portrait of a time in America when coming out was a crime the police were intent to enforce. Rejected by her family as a child for presenting masculine traits, Jess survives by passing as a man and navigating the pre-Stonewall NYC underground bar scene in search of a chosen family.


by Maupin, Armistead.
Call Number: Ed.a

This mystery series brings together a cast of young eccentrics at the height of the sexual revolution of the 1970s. When Maryann Singleton visits San Francisco for the first time, she instantly knows she can never go back to Cleveland. When she rents an apartment at 28 Barbary Lane, the perks are endless:  from the "welcome" joint neatly taped to her door by the landlady, to the friends and loves that will last a lifetime. The landlady, Anna Madrigal, keeps her tenants as close as family, but none of them realizes just how close they really are until her secret is revealed.


by Waters, Sarah, 1966-
 

Nancy Astley fancies herself an ordinary oyster girl, working for her family's fishmonger business in a British seaside village. When eighteen-year-old Nan sees the stunning Kitty Butler performing as a man in a local music hall, she is instantly captivated. When Nan finally gets Kitty's attention, she follows her on an epic passionate journey.


by Allison, Dorothy.
 

In a collection of stories that was to become the basis for Bastard out of Carolina,  Allison examines the myriad of emotions evoked by her mother's illness and ongoing commitment to Allison's stepfather, who physically and sexually abused them both. Brimming with love, Allison recounts the haunting memories of her past while fearlessly moving forward with her life and her love of women.


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