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Lesbian Books for Spring: More Than 150 Fascinating Finds

(page 8 of 17)

 Nonfiction, Essays and Theory 

   The Ethical Slut:  A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures, Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy (Ten Speed Press)

With a combined 50 years of experience advising people on the ins and outs of polyamory, the authors of this second updated edition of the 12-year old classic argue that traditional marriage is an outdated concept based on the belief that there isn’t enough love and sex to go around. Ethical sluts, according to the authors, believe there’s nothing wrong with sex or pleasure; and no one else should decide whom you can love. The Ethical Slut, the inspiration for a play and upcoming film, provides how-to for resolving conflict, respecting boundaries, raising children, opening an existing relationship and breaking up.

The Constant Rider Omnibus:  Stories From The Public Transportation Front, Kate Lopresti (Microcosm Publishing)

Portland, Oregon writer Kate Lopresti is the editor/author behind the award nominated ‘zine Constant Rider, in which she shares her weird and funny experiences on public buses and trains. This is an expanded, second edition of the collection (the first was self- published) and features comics, book reviews, tips and profiles of Portland politicians.

If I Could Write This in Fire, Michelle Cliff (University of MN)

This new collection of essays by the acclaimed Jamaican-American writer (and partner of Adrienne Rich) is a powerful meditation on a life led at the intersections of national, ethnic, and sexual boundaries. Born in British-ruled Jamaica, Cliff has written frequently on postcolonial identity, but her new book is a startlingly personal approach to history’s violence through her experiences living in Jamaica, England and the United States. “There is no map,” Cliff writes, to “The terrain of my girlhood”; If I Could Write This traces a path through that terrain by “mixing in the forms taught us, undermining the oppressor’s language and co-opting, or corrupting, his style,” depicting personal fragmentation by fraying language’s edges.

3 Who’s Been Sleeping in Your Head? The Secret World of Sexual Fantasies, Brett Kahr (Basic Books)

Based on the largest-ever survey of sexual fantasies, this book offers an anatomy lesson on sexual desire that reveals that sex fantasies often rise from childhood experiences and later exert a powerful impact on adult emotions, behavior and relationships. Kahr doesn’t shy away from queer content.

Amalgamation Schemes:  Antiblackness and the Critique of Multiracialism, Jared Sexton (University of Minnesota Press)

In this academic analysis, Sexton argues the multiracialism—once heralded as the answer to racial conflict—actually stems from conservative forces determined to undo the gains of the modern civil rights movement and destroy black and feminist politics. Sexton maintains that multiracialism reinforces both antiblackness and normative sexuality prescripts; and he demonstrates the relationship between racial and sexual politics in the modern multiracial consciousness. 

The Witch’s Flight:  The Cinematic, the Black Femme, and the Image of Common Sense, Kara Keeling (Duke University Press)

Expanding on Gilles Deleuze’s notion that cinema produces social reality, Keeling examines black visual culture and describes how the cinematic frames racism, homophobia and misogyny—and denies viewers certain images and ways of knowing. Part of the Perverse Modernities series edited by Judith Halberstam and Lisa Lowe.

Global Bollywood:  Travels of Hindi Song and Dance, Sangita Gopal and Sujata Moorti, Editors (University of Minnesota Press)

This academic multidisciplinary collection examines the globalization of Bollywood music, highlighting the global, cultural influence of Hindi film music.

Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys:  True Tales of Friendship Between Straight Women and Gay Men, Melissa de la Cruz and Tom Dolby, Editors (Plume)

Collection of essays delves into the heart these cross-sexuality friendships. It includes pieces by Sex and the City writer Cindy Chupack, Barneys creative director Simon Doonan and novelist Gigi Levangie Grazer (The Starter Wife). 

“Lesbians” in East Asia:  Diversity, Identities, and Resistance, Diana Khor and Saori Kamano Editors (Harrington Park Press)

Simultaneously published as Journal of Lesbian Studies, Volume 10 No. 3/4 in 2006, this collection examines research about lesbians in China, Hong Kong, Korea, and Japan from academics and activists who know them best (many of whom haven’t been published in English). Emphasis is on areas of connection and cooperation across cultures within East Asia. 

Are Girls Necessary?, Julie Abraham (University of Minnesota Press)

In this work Abraham, author of Metropolitan Lovers: The Homosexuality of Cities analyzes lesbian writing from those dismissed as pulp to literary geniuses of Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf and examines how writers constructed new lesbian narratives. 

Red Light Women of the Rocky Mountains, Jan MacKell (University of New Mexico Press)

Historian MacKell explores the history of prostitution in the Rocky Mountain states in this exhaustive tome that illustrates why women were drawn (or forced) into the life, as well as what their lives were like in and after their red light days. Includes black and white photos including of the hot butchy Laura Bullion, who dressed in men’s clothes and ran with the robbing Wild Bunch.

Women in Science:  A Social and Cultural History, Ruth Watts (Routledge)

Condensing case studies, biographies and historical accounts, Watts provides a interdisciplinary examination of science, gender and race; and reveals the impact of women on science and the scientific community. 

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