Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers

A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America

Lillian Faderman

Columbia University Press

Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers

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Pub Date: February 2012

ISBN: 9780231074896

373 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $24.95

Pub Date: June 1991

ISBN: 9780231074889

373 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $75.00

Pub Date: February 2012

ISBN: 9780231530743

373 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $24.99

Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers

A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America

Lillian Faderman

Columbia University Press

As Lillian Faderman writes, there are "no constants with regard to lesbianism," except that lesbians prefer women. In this groundbreaking book, she reclaims the history of lesbian life in twentieth-century America, tracing the evolution of lesbian identity and subcultures from early networks to more recent diverse lifestyles. She draws from journals, unpublished manuscripts, songs, media accounts, novels, medical literature, pop culture artifacts, and oral histories by lesbians of all ages and backgrounds, uncovering a narrative of uncommon depth and originality.

Odd Girls reverberates with the powerful voices of people speaking for themselves.... Faderman empowers her subject; instead of allowing lesbian lifestyles to be defined from the outside, her voice and those of other women transcend destructive stereotypes and misconceptions. Odd Girls offers a lucidly written and moving narrative of lesbian culture and community during its formative years.

The Village Voice

Fascinating... poignant and moving... Odd Girls is full of facts and wonderful details that readers may not have encountered, things that are a pleasure to learn and that seem valuable to know.

Los Angeles Times Book Review

One has to respect the tenacity of Lillian Faderman for making sense of the evolution of lesbian life in twentieth-century America.... This is a remarkable social history.... Her study attains the depth and evenhandedness of a scholarly classic.

Susan Brownmiller, The Washington Post Book World

An important and challenging work for lesbians and heterosexuals alike.... Odd Girls is a key work, the point of reference which all subsequent studies of twentieth-century lesbian life in the United States will begin.

San Francisco Examiner

Faderman's sweeping, mesmerizing prose accentuates the magnificent scholarship in this definitive account of lesbian life in the past 100 years.... Faderman has combined her talent and experience to accomplish this wonder.

Barbara Grier, Lambda Book Report

Nothing odd about Odd Girls—it combines clear prose with meticulous research. This book is an important contribution to understanding America and its people in our time.

Rita Mae Brown, author of Rubyfruit Jungle

A grand narrative synthesis of the cultural, social, and political history of lesbian life since the late nineteenth century.... Engaging and deeply moving stories.

New York Times Book Review

A splendid, uplifting achievement.

The Independent
Contents
Introduction
1. "The Loves of Women for Each Other": "Romantic Friends" in the Twentieth Century
2. A Worm in the Bud: The Early Sexologists and Love Between Women
3. Lesbian Chic: Experimentation and Repression in the 1920s
4. Wastelands and Oases: The 1930s
5. "Naked Amazons and Queer Damozels": World War II and Its Aftermath
6. The Love that Dares Not Speak Its Name: McCarthyism and Its Legacy
7. Butches, Femmes, and Kikis: Creating Lesbian Subcultures in the 1950s and '60s
8. "Not a Public Relations Movement": Lesbian Revolutions in the 1960s Through '70s
9. Lesbian Nation: Creating a Women-Identified-Women Community in the 1970s
10. Lesbian Sex Wars in the 1980s
11. From Tower of Babel to Community: Lesbian Life in the 1980s
Epilogue: Social Constructions and the Metamorphoses of Love Between Women
Notes
Index
Web Features:

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

About the Author

Lillian Faderman is professor emerita of English at California State University, Fresno, and author of the award-winning Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship and Love Between Women from the Renaissance to the Present and Scotch Verdict: Miss Pirie and Miss Woods v. Dame Cumming Gordon. She is also the author of Naked in the Promised Land: A Memoir and To Believe in Women: What Lesbians Have Done for America—a History, and coauthor of Gay L. A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, And Lipstick Lesbians.