Looking for Lesbian/Bisexual Fiction
January 11, 2011 7:34 PM   Subscribe

BookFilter: I am looking for well written fiction/novels where the main character is a woman in a relationship with another woman. Whether they are lesbian or bisexual doesn't matter.

The relationship doesn't have to be the main focus of the book, but not insignificant either. The type of fiction doesn't matter. My least favourite genre is mysteries, but even that would be fine.

I'm not looking for porn, although sex within the story is fine, there is plenty of that to be found on the internets.
posted by deborah to Media & Arts (40 answers total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
Sarah Waters-- Tipping the Velvet, Etc.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:40 PM on January 11, 2011 [8 favorites]

Stir Fry, by Emma Donoghue, and Rubyfruit Jungle, by Rita Mae Brown. Both are coming-of-age novels -- the first a bit dated but still sweet, the second a bit didactic but still hilarious.
posted by virago at 7:40 PM on January 11, 2011

Patricia Highsmith's The Price of Salt is a fine book.
posted by otio at 7:46 PM on January 11, 2011

Pembroke Park. Can't vouch for it; but it is sitting on my shelf and I will finish it one day. By which I mean start it one day. I also read a YA novel called Kissing Kate, which I remember disliking, though I couldn't tell you why. And a YA fantasy novel called Ash by a woman who writes for AfterEllen, which I liked- its a Cinderella story, though the relationship is not particularly the focus. Incidentally, AfterEllen has a section devoted to books and reviews.
posted by jenlovesponies at 7:48 PM on January 11, 2011

The Cat Sanctuary by Patrick Gale.

I read this when I was about twenty, and have been meaning to re-read it. It always pops into my head whenever your question is asked. I'm hoping it has aged well.
posted by New England Cultist at 7:52 PM on January 11, 2011

If you like science fiction and/or poetic writing--either will do--Salt Fish Girl by Larissa Lai.
Bodies in Motion by Mary Anne Mohanraj is short stories, and only a few are lesbian-related, but they're good.

Sarah Waters and Emma Donoghue are always solid, if you like the Victorian thing. (Not all of Emma Donoghue's novels are lesbian, but many are. Her lesbian-twist fairy tales in Kissing the Witch are awesome.)
posted by equivocator at 7:59 PM on January 11, 2011

The Darkover series (sci-Fi) by Marion Zimmer Bradley has a lot of plotlines based on lesbian/bi-sexual relationships. It's a series, but the books can be read independently. It's been awhile, but I particularly remember The Shattered Chain as having alot to do with this topic. It was a running theme through the whole series however, and is very feminist (especially for the genre)
posted by Raichle at 8:01 PM on January 11, 2011

oh man, Fall On Your Knees by Anne-Marie MacDonald is probably the best book I ever read.
posted by andreapandrea at 8:12 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Hollows series by Kim Harrison has a sorta-relationship going on between the main character and one of her business partners, but it kind of goes back and forth on the more romantic angles.

Jacqueline Carey's books have both male and female romances going on, but Naamah's Kiss has the heroine have some relationships with some lovely ladies in particular.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:28 PM on January 11, 2011

In a classic vein, The Color Purple by Alice Walker and the Claudine novels by Colette are most excellent.
posted by mynameisluka at 8:30 PM on January 11, 2011 [3 favorites]

Jeanette Winterson writes a lot of lesbian fiction with an erotic element. The Book About Blanche and Marie is a novel about the friendship between Marie Curie and her lab assistant, Blanche Wittman.
posted by Dilemma at 8:44 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Probably not quite what you're looking for, but one of the four main characters of Possession, by A.S. Byatt, is a woman in a (presumably romantic) relationship with another woman. However, the main focus of the novel is that same character's romantic relationship with a man.
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:46 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

Along the lines of Johnny Assay's suggestion, Lisbeth Salander in the Millennium Trilogy is bisexual. Her lesbian relationship is intermittent and not central to the overall story, but I think central to her character (in some of the same ways as the character in Possession, who I take to be bisexual but leaning hetero).
posted by torticat at 9:07 PM on January 11, 2011

I know the movie made it seem trite, but Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg is a really fun read
posted by Mchelly at 9:17 PM on January 11, 2011

Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone
posted by yawper at 9:18 PM on January 11, 2011

Mary Gaitskill: especially several short stories in Because They Wanted To. Also her novels: Two Girls, Fat and Thin, and to a more implicit extent, Veronica.
posted by keener_sounds at 9:36 PM on January 11, 2011

Naomi Alderman's "Disobedience". Sarah Waters's "Fingersmith".
posted by lhall at 9:38 PM on January 11, 2011

Laurie R. King's Kate Martinelli series, if you like detective fiction.
posted by lollusc at 9:41 PM on January 11, 2011

Rat Bohemia by Sarah Schulman
The Sea of Light by Jennifer Levin
Slow River by Nicola Griffith
Hood by Emma Donoghue (this one's contemporary)
posted by Wordwoman at 10:51 PM on January 11, 2011

Seconding Slow River. Among its many virtues, it's one of the rare SF books that doesn't fake the science.
posted by spasm at 1:36 AM on January 12, 2011

I wanted to nth Sarah Waters and Night Watch in particular. I think it is one of the most moving portraits of a relationship I have ever read.
posted by Ziggy500 at 2:15 AM on January 12, 2011

Seconding the color purple. It's a wonderful story.

As a fairly avid reader, I can't think of a better female to female story line than this one.
posted by skauskas at 3:52 AM on January 12, 2011

You'd love Terry Moore's "Strangers in Paradise." It primarily follows the intimate friendship and romance of Francine and Katchoo. It's touching, funny, sweet and sad.
posted by chmmr at 4:46 AM on January 12, 2011

Djuna Barnes' Nightwood
posted by Joe Beese at 7:04 AM on January 12, 2011

Landing by Emma Donoghue. Great Book.
posted by nooneyouknow at 7:07 AM on January 12, 2011

Lesbian novels! That's where I'm a viking!

Glancing over my bookshelf, here are some --

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
The Celaeno series by Jane Fletcher (The Temple at Landfall, The Walls of Westernfort, etc.)
The Lyremouth chronicles by Jane Fletcher (The Exile and the Sorcerer, The Traitor and the Chalice, etc.)
Broken Wings, Lady Knight, and Adijan and her Genie, all by L-J Baker
Nightshade by Shea Godfrey
The Child Garden by Geoff Ryman
Slow River by Nicola Griffith (thirded or fourthed or whatever it is at this point)
Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey
The Logic series by Laurie J. Marks (Fire Logic, Earth Logic, etc.)
Daughters of the North by Sarah Hall (also called The Carhullan Army in Europe)
Shadows of Aggar by Chris Anne Wolfe
Dust by Elizabeth Bear

I have to run out the door RIGHT NOW, but I'll add more later ...
posted by kyrademon at 7:56 AM on January 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Most books by Rita Mae Brown.
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:05 AM on January 12, 2011

Some great lesbian-sleuth mysteries include the Jane Lawless books by Ellen Hart and the Lauren Laurano books by Sandra Scoppettone.

Not to be missed (I mean this, I cannot recommend these books highly enough) are the novels of April Sinclair.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:44 AM on January 12, 2011

Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories, edited by JoSelle Vanderhooft
Ash, by Malinda Lo (and with luck, the upcoming sequel)
(I can't actually bring myself to recommend the Japanese light novel Strawberry Panic!, which I haven't bothered to read--it's a shame that the manga Love My Life, which is lovely to look at and has a decent story and whatnot, hasn't been officially translated into English. But check out http://okazu.blogspot.com/ if you feel like venturing into manga.)
posted by wintersweet at 2:05 PM on January 12, 2011

If you want a thoroughly enjoyable, rather twisted, not at all pleasant female-female relationship, I heartily recommend Notes On A Scandal by Zoe Heller.
posted by Decani at 2:57 PM on January 12, 2011

For something a bit different, a verse novel: The Monkey's Mask, by Dorothy Porter
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:05 PM on January 12, 2011

Response by poster: Wow. You all are amazing. Although I see I already have lots of reading ahead of me, please keep the suggestions coming!
posted by deborah at 5:01 PM on January 12, 2011

OK. I’m bored, and this is a topic I’m fond of, so this is going to be a long post. I thought maybe a tad more in-depth review might be useful to you.

I could put a lot more on here, but I am restricting this to books that 1) I have read, 2) I have liked (except for a few that were mentioned by other posters, so I thought I should still include them on this list), and 3) fit your specification (the main character, and not a side character, has a relationship with another woman, although not necessarily a central one.)

My ratings are my own, and sometimes agree and sometimes disagree with general opinion. The books on this list are a bit tilted towards fantasy and a bit of sf, since that’s a lot of what I’ve been reading lately. I know I’ve forgotten to include some. Oh, well.

Many of these have already been mentioned on the thread already, but I did add a few more that I thought of later. In alphabetical order by author last name:

*L-J Baker
*Books: Broken Wings, Lady Knight, and Adijan and her Genie
*Genre: Fantasy
I picked up Broken Wings on a whim, and was surprised to find it was a well-written story about a lesbian fairy and her society. I sought out L-J Baker’s other published books after that. Lady Knight is also very strong, medieval fantasy this time. Adijan, an Arabian-Nights style piece, is probably the weakest of the three. I think all are worth reading, but only read Adijan if you try one of the others first and like it; Broken Wings is probably the best to start.
My rating: 4 stars for Broken Wings and Lady Knight, 2 stars for Adijan and her Genie

*Ann Bannon (pen name for Ann Weldy, but you’re more likely to find them under Bannon)
*Books: The “Beebo Brinker” series (Odd Girl Out, I Am A Woman, etc.)
*Genre: Pulp fiction
The long period when lesbian novels could only exist as paperpack pulp fiction aimed at exploitation produced a lot of dreadful crap – and a few amazing gems. Among those gems are the works of Ann Bannon, who was nearly unique in giving her characters rich personalities, lives, and even the occasional happy ending (almost unheard of at the time.) The novels follow a set of characters from college to suburbia to the lesbian mecca of Greenwich Village. They were written quickly for the pulp market, and the lack of literary care sometimes is evident in the prose, but they still ended up being powerful works.
My rating: 4 stars

*Elizabeth Bear
*Books: Dust (and others I have not read)
*Genre: Science Fiction
Actually the first of a recently-completed trilogy; I have only read the first book. It is far-future stuff set on a starship that has been travelling for generations. I liked it, but didn’t love it. I may or may not read the other two books at some point.
My rating: 3 stars

*Marian Zimmer Bradley
*Books: The Shattered Chain, Thendara House, City of Sorcery
*Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction
A loose trilogy within her vast Darkover series about telepathic humans on a cold alien world. These books are about women who have taken themselves out of the mostly misogynist culture of the planet. I love the works of Marian Zimmer Bradley, but some of these are not her strongest. The Shattered Chain is pretty good, but the least like what you are looking for. Thendara House gets preachy, and City of Sorcery is frankly bad. Also, while most of the books in Darkover are relatively stand-alone, these are hard to understand without reading other books in the series (particularly The Forbidden Tower.) I won’t disrecommend Bradly, but I’d say start somewhere else with her and read these if you like her a lot.
My rating: 1 to 3 stars, depending; she has other work in the 4-5 star range

*Rita Mae Brown
*Books: Rubyfruit Jungle (I haven't read her other stuff)
*Genre: Semi-Autobiographical Fiction
A coming-of-age story. This is considered a classic, and it’s ... pretty good. I didn’t flip for it, but it’s worth reading. I don’t think it deserves the plaudits it gets, though.
My rating: 3 stars

*Jacqueline Carey
*Books: Santa Olivia, the first "Kushiel" trilogy (Kushiel’s Dart, Kushiel’s Chosen, Kushiel’s Avatar)
*Genre: Science Fiction and Fantasy
Carey most often writes fantasy novels, and they usually abound with happily bisexual characters. I can recommend many of them strongly, most especially the first “Kushiel” trilogy (Kushiel’s Dart, Kushiel’s Chosen, Kushiel’s Avatar) – the main character has sex with, frankly, just about everyone, both male and female. This trilogy is innovative and for the most part strongly written, although there are some flaws. The later books set in this world, however, are not as strong -- the "Naamah" series also has a main character who has lesbian relationships, but I couldn't get into the books. On the other hand, Santa Olivia is her first foray into science fiction, and also her first book with a central lesbian love story (the main love story in “Kushiel” is female/male.) I thought it was great. A sequel is coming out in a year or so.
My rating: 4 stars

*Leslie Feinberg
*Books: Stone Butch Blues
*Genre: Semi-Autobiographical Fiction
Another classic, and one I recommend highly. An eye-opening account of life from the “butch” point of view, set mostly during the pre-Stonewall years.
My rating: 5 stars

*Jane Fletcher
*Books: The Celaeno series (The Temple at Landfall, The Walls of Westernfort, etc.), The Lyremouth chronicles (The Exile and the Sorcerer, The Traitor and the Chalice, etc.)
*Genre: Science Fiction and Fantasy
Jane Fletcher is sometimes an uneven author. In the Celaeno series, set on an all-woman planet which has fallen back to about Roman-level technology, some of the books are great and some are mediocre. I recommend the two listed above. The Lyremouth chronicles, however, which are fantasy about a sorceress and a warrior who fall in love, starts slowly in the first book and then takes off in the second and the rest. I think she’s great, but she does sometimes swing and miss.
My rating: 2 to 4 stars, depending

*Shea Godfrey
*Books: Nightshade
*Genre: Fantasy
I think this complicated political tale is the author’s first novel. I liked it, and look forward to possible sequels.
My rating: 3 and a half stars

*Nicola Griffith
*Books: Slow River (and some others)
*Genre: Science Fiction (and noir fiction)
Slow River is one of my favorite books. The science aspect is central but never overwhelms or overshadows the central human story. Her other SF book, Ammonite, is also well-regarded, but I haven’t read it yet (it’s in the “to-read” pile), so I can’t say. She has some kind of noirish non-sf fiction as well, which is just OK. (As a side note, I can also recommend Griffith’s partner, Kelley Eskridge, based on her short fiction, but I haven’t yet read her novel, Solitaire, which has just become widely available again after being out of print for a long time.)
My rating: 5 stars for Slow River, 2-3 stars for her noir stuff

*Sarah Hall
*Books: Daughters of the North/The Carhullan Army
*Genre: Science Fiction
This dystopic near-future novel caused quite a stir when it came out not long ago. A woman in an oppressive society flees to an isolated women’s commune, but not a peaceful one. I thought it was pretty good, but I can’t say I much liked the characters. That may have been intentional though.
My rating: 3 and a half stars

*Patricia Highsmith (writing as Claire Morgan)
*Books: The Price of Salt
*Genre: Fiction
Spring Fire by Vin Packer is considered to have started the genre of lesbian pulp fiction. The Price of Salt, which came out at the same time, is also considered to be a seminal text, but it someone didn't really fit the “pulp” category. It’s a little too literary, and, perhaps most importantly, like some of Ann Bannon’s later works, its characters were allowed a somewhat happy ending, a rarity in that era and possibly a first in English language literature. Plus, it’s a really good read.
My rating: 4 stars

*Stieg Larrson
*Books: The Millenium Series (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc.)
*Genre: Crime fiction
Scandinavian crime/suspense/adventure novels. In my opinion, these immensely popular books are utter crap. Exploitative, poorly written, and pretending to bring up real issues such as violence against women and bisexuality pretty much entirely as an excuse to present them as bad semi-pornography.
My rating: 0 stars

*Malinda Lo
*Books: Ash
*Genre: Fantasy
A retelling of the Cinderella ending where she doesn’t end up with the prince. Quite good, although I thought it had some “first-time author” flaws. I’d pick up sequels to see if they improve.
My rating: 3 stars

*Laurie J. Marks
*Books: Fire Logic, Earth Logic, Water Logic
*Genre: Fantasy
Excellent novels of war, culture clash, politics, and reconciliation in a fantasy setting. The fourth and final book in this series is taking a long time to get written, but the author assures her fans she is working on it.
My rating: 4 stars

*Isabel Miller (pen name for Alma Routsong, but you’re more likely to find it under Miller)
*Books: Patience and Sarah
*Genre: Historical fiction
This rather odd book is somehow better than it seems to have any right to be. Set in frontier-era America, it’s about two women who make their own way, apparently, I have heard, by an author who felt she was channeling the two characters. It became an underground hit of a sort, and is now available in nice newish editions.
My rating: 3 and a half stars

*Terry Moore
*Books: Strangers in Paradise
*Genre: Graphic Novels
I actually don’t think this series of graphic novels (graphic as in comics, not as in porn) are exactly what you’re looking for, but since they’ve been mentioned I’ll put them here. The relationship between the two central women is often frustrating and unrequited. I liked them a lot at first, but gradually became irritated until I stopped reading.
My rating: Start at 4 stars, eventually plummets to 1 star

*Tom Robbins
*Books: Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
*Genre: Literary Fiction
Most people, I have found, love the first book they read by Tom Robbins, whatever it is, and then discover his shtick gets old fast. If you’ve never read him before, this story of the world’s greatest hitchhiker, who becomes a poster girl for feminine hygiene products, is a strange and delightful romp. If you’ve read him before, it’s the same ol’, same ol’.
My rating: 4 stars or 2 stars, depending

*Geoff Ryman
*Books: The Child Garden
*Genre: Science fiction
This is a fantastic book, set in the relatively far future, about a theater artist who does not fit into the world around her (and the genetically modified polar bear person she loves.) It’s odd, and fine, and like drinking a shot of concentrated clinical depression.
My rating: 5 stars

*Sarah Schulman
*Books: Rat Bohemia
*Genre: Literary fiction
Interlinked stories about artists and lowlifes. Well written. Some people think Jonathon Larson ripped off ideas from Schulman for Rent. She writes about very similar topics, and a case for this can definitely be made. Schulman is much grittier than Larson's musical, though.
My rating: 3 and a half stars

*Alice Walker
*Books: The Color Purple
*Genre: Historical fiction
A truly great, sprawling novel about life in early twentieth century rural Georgia. Often violent and explicit. In a way, too big for me to say enough about it here.
My rating: 5 stars

*Sarah Waters
*Books: Tipping the Velvet, Fingersmith, The Night Watch
*Genre: Historical fiction
A lot of people love Sarah Waters, and her historical novels set in Britain. Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith (the Victorian era) and The Night Watch (1940’s) are three I have read, and all of them are all right but ... I don’t think they live up to their reputation. I dunno. I just felt something undefinable was missing from them that made them just OK rather than great.
My rating: 3 stars

*Jeanette Winterson
*Books: Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, Written on the Body, The Stone Gods
*Genre: Semi-autobiographical fiction, Literary fiction, Science Fiction
Winterson made a huge splash with Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, a great semi-autobiography about growing up in an ultra-evangelical household. And with good reason – it’s a great book. She has written many novels over the years, and gradually moved from realism to very experimental works (and now to children’s stories, most recently.) I like almost all of them. The Stone Gods is one of the more accessible experimental ones, a strange sci-fi tale about astronauts from another planet who land on primitive earth. I perhaps should not have included Written on the Body at all – although I tend to see it as about a woman, the gender of the narrator is carefully never stated. I included it because it’s my favorite by her. It’s towards the early side of her work, just starting to veer into the experimental a little.
My rating: 5 stars

*Chris Anne Wolfe
*Shadows of Aggar, Fires of Aggar, Roses and Thorns, Annabel and I
*Genre: Science Fiction and Fantasy
Wolfe only completed a few novels before her death from cancer. Roses and Thorns, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, may be the best. Annabel and I has a strange time-travel plot, and the Aggar books are decent fantasyesque Amazon-and-seer style science fiction. All of them are worth reading, none are earth-shattering.
My rating: 3 stars
posted by kyrademon at 5:02 PM on January 12, 2011 [7 favorites]

Awesome post kyrademon, thanks for that!
posted by springbound at 9:01 PM on January 12, 2011

Sorry for going slightly OT but I have to ask because I find it interesting -

kyrademon wrote:

*Stieg Larrson
*Books: The Millenium Series (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc.)
*Genre: Crime fiction
Scandinavian crime/suspense/adventure novels. In my opinion, these immensely popular books are utter crap. Exploitative, poorly written, and pretending to bring up real issues such as violence against women and bisexuality pretty much entirely as an excuse to present them as bad semi-pornography.
My rating: 0 stars

I read the trilogy last year and consider it the best books I've read in yonks. Taking into account that they were translated from the original Swedish, I still think they came off as well written and enormously entertaining. What I found most appealing about the Salander character was that she never feels the need to classify herself as anything in terms of her sexuality; she just is Lisbeth Salander. From my POV, the trilogy didn't address Lisbeth's sexuality as a major point of focus at all.

With respect to your opinion that they come across as an excuse for semi-pornography - I just don't see that. It's a difficult subject to approach for any writer, and I give Larrson a hell of a lot of credit for writing about it unflinchingly. As a side note, the films are well worth seeing too, but they cut out a lot of detail and background. They're pretty hard to watch in places though, because of the subject matter. Read the books first.

Again, sorry for the hijack.
posted by New England Cultist at 12:16 PM on January 13, 2011

Well, it was just my opinion, and they are very popular, so I'm pretty clearly in the minority here. *shrug* Tastes vary. This seems like the wrong place to get into a literary argument over the merit of the books, though, so unless the OP asks for clarification, I'll leave it at that.

On another note, have remembered a couple of other books that I left off the list (knew there would be some.) Both are OK but not amazing (in my opinion, of course) -- three to three and a half stars:

The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson -- YA high school coming of age story
The Year Seven by Molleen Zanger -- Psychological post-apocalyptic SF
posted by kyrademon at 1:17 PM on January 13, 2011

Oh! And also --

Desert of the Heart by Jane Rule

Another classic. Arguably the first post-pulp lesbian novel, about a professor who falls for a casino worker in the 1950's. The movie "Desert Hearts" is based on this book. The language is sometimes a little difficult to unpack, but it's worth the effort. 4 stars.

Wait, it's February now? I'll just leave this thread quietly ...
posted by kyrademon at 3:44 AM on February 1, 2011

This is old, but I noticed a few things missing that I would recommend, so in case anyone else comes looking, I'm adding to the list.

The Dykes to Watch Out For series is funny, and smashingly good. Her art becomes more sophisticated as the books progress. Bechdel's autobiographical graphic novel Fun Home is good too, but it's not fiction.

The poster doesn't like mysteries, but someone else might. I particularly enjoy the Allison Kaine mysteries. It gives a nice recent-historical perspective on lesbianism too.

I can't believe no one mentioned Dorothy Allison. She's on any well-read lesbian bookshelf. She writes about class, and power as well as lesbians. Her book Skin is nonfiction, but absofreakinglutely amazing, and in my opinion even better than her fiction.

Someone already mentioned Rita Mae Brown, but I don't think anyone has recommended the book Venus Envy. RMB is more than just Rubyfruit Jungle (though it is a classic) and the cat mysteries that have made her so much money.

Rent Girl is an interesting read.

As much as I hate to say it, the Wikipedia entry on this topic is actually a good jumping off point. I just a quick look. (Although there are some real stinkers on that list: Katherine V. Forrest anyone?).

You can sift through the various years of Lambda Literary Award winners to find those with a female focus.

To add a bit of personal opinion: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was way overrated, and so are the Sarah Waters books. But hey, they're popular, so you should at least have a gander. If you like the style of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, consider Nicola Griffith instead (also recommended above). She writes the same type of book, but she does it ten times better than Mr. Larsson. I'm giving Larsson the benefit of the doubt, but those books felt a trifle exploitative to me. I like my heroines *not* getting breast implants because they're insecure, thankyouverymuch. And I can really, really do without graphic anal rape scenes.
posted by thelastcamel at 1:34 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Came wandering back with two more awesome, offbeat suggestions (final exams make me want to think about anything *but* final exams). Anyway, I enjoyed The Dyke and the Dybbuk very much indeed. Ellen Galford's book Moll Cutpurse is also very good.

And if you're into comics, you should check out Adventure of Liliane, Bi-Dyke. You can read her comics online (best to start early and progress forward than going backward), but if you like them, think about tossing her a few bucks and buying a book. I have her book Don't Be a Crotte which I found in Beyond the Closet before it closed, leaving no gay & lesbian bookstore in Seattle (no, Bailey Coy wasn't a gay bookstore). This is why the closing of things like gay & lesbian bookstore is so tragic. I can't browse (and often buy) things like this in stores anymore. Barnes & Noble carries Franson's stuff, but it doesn't carry in the storefront, and now I find I stumble across lesser known and excellent authors far less frequently now. I also haven't bought a gay & lesbian academic literature journal since Beyond the Closet went out of business, because I simply can't afford to subscribe, and without seeing an issue and leafing through it, I can't justify spending the kind of money academic press has to ask.
posted by thelastcamel at 2:50 PM on December 12, 2011

One last opinion...someone upwind recommended Kushiel's Dart. Those books are so bad I call them Kushiel's Fart. But once again, they're very! very! popular. I hate them because not only are they hopelessly derivative (so is much of fantasy), but the writing is terrible. Like Terry Goodkind, Carey milks the BDSM angle for much more popularity than she's worth. YMMV, and probably does. I actually kept that book on my shelf for almost ten years, to laugh and point occasionally, and because I couldn't bear the though of foisting off on some poor unsuspecting soul. I finally ditched it when my book collection started crawling upwards of 1500 books in a 400 sq. foot apartment.
posted by thelastcamel at 3:00 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

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