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Old 04-21-2009, 06:30 AM   #1
Ea
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Good novels with lesbian protagonists?

Thread started from this post - I have the feeling I was about to highjack that thread completely

I asked this question:
I have been looking for novels with lesbian protagonists and it seem there is so little of it. Really, I can't think of anyone but Sarah Waters. At least the kind of books I'm looking for; basically "just" quality entertainment. I can find romance, and what I could call feminist-political fiction, but that's not what I am looking for. Does anyone have suggestions?

This is Seabound's anser and my comments - hope it makes sense
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seabound View Post
Unfortunately, I don't think there are many books out there that match what you are looking for. I consider Sarah Waters's books as falling squarely into the literary fiction bin. (As an aside, all her books except Tipping are included in the Guardian's "1000 novels everyone must read" list, which surprised me and made me glad both. It's one measure of her novels' impact. Both "Fingersmith" and "The Night Watch" were shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize, and Waters has won several awards.) I've tried picking up a couple of Jeanette Winterson's books, but I've never managed to finish them. She can be hard for me to read, but I haven't given up on her yet.

As for recommendations, well, why don't you give "The Night Watch" another go?
Thanks for all the recommendations
It's funny how tastes differ, I would say Sarah Waters' books are not intellectual and/or arty enough to call it literary fiction, I'd say it was 'general', though also very high quality w. reg. to storytelling and writing style. Jeanette Winterson on the other hand, I would say is literary I like "Oranges are not the only fruit", which I think is probably her least literary and the most accessible. I've tried some of her other books, too, but they never really caught my interest.

I'll definitely give "Night Watch" a second try. In fact I just bough an e-version. I have it in hardback, but every time I look at it on the bookshelf I just think 'later' because it's such a large book

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seabound View Post
There are two books which I've read which I think fit the description of books you're looking for. Their setting is in the US instead of the UK. Both are well written but the styles are very different. Both are unhurried in telling the story, and, through good writing and storytelling, both pull off the seemingly impossible (for love stories) of keeping the reader's attention even without explicit sex between the main characters (i.e. don't expect anything in that department ):

* "Bittersweet" by Nevada Barr. ...

* "The Price of Salt" by Patricia Highsmith. ...
I wasn't specifically looking for anything in "that department" but if you have recommendations...

Anyway... I haven't heard about "Bittersweet", though I've read the Anna Pigeon series a long time ago. I'll definitely try it, looks great, definitely something I might like.
"The price of salt" I have actually read. The library had it, and even in translation. (now I'm starting to remember the books I have read). Do you know "Rubyfruit Jungle" by Rita Mae Brown?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seabound View Post
BTW, for those who don't know yet, "The Little Stranger" does not have any gay characters in it, unlike Waters's other novels. I think some of her gay fans are a little disappointed by this, but I'm thrilled about it. I think it's a really good career move for her.
It looked like it didn't. I don't mind either - she should write what she wants to, and it's easy to be pigeonholed as that lesbian writer if she never does anything else. However with this dearth of books with interesting lesbian characters it's no wonder some could feel disappointed.
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