Classic Lesbian Fiction

Friday Fun For The 50 Year-Olds

There are ‘Classics” and then there are classics. I hate to be the one to admit it, but when it comes to the 15 classics I’ve listed below, I’ve only read those marked with an asterisk. Is that a huge admission on my part or simply a statement of fact for most lesbians these days? I’m sure I should be one of those, of that certain age (read, turned 50) who should have read all of these, but I haven’t.

• “Orlando” by Virginia Woolf
• “The Well Of Loneliness” by Radclyffe Hall
• “The Children’s Hour” by Lillian Hellman
• “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas” by Gertrude Stein
• “Ruby Fruit Jungle” by Rita Mae Brown *
• “Patience & Sarah” by Isabel Miller *
• “Oranges are not the only fruit” by Jeanette Winterson
• “The Price of Salt” by Patricia Highsmith
• “Annie On My Mind” by Nancy Garden
• “Stone Butch Blues” by Leslie Feinberg
• “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker
• “Tipping The Velvet” by Sarah Waters
• “Beebo Brinker” by Ann Bannon
• “Curious Wine” by Katherine V. Forrest *
• “Desert of the Heart” by Jane Rule

Truth is, I have watched “Desert Hearts” the movie made from the book, just as I did “The Color Purple” and “The Children’s Hour”. I’ve even watched the TV mini-series of both “Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit” and “Tipping The Velvet” but, as it happens, I never got around to reading the books, they just never appealed to me.

So what about you, how many of the above listed titles have you read, and just what (in your mind) makes a classic a classic—is it the era the book was written in, the readability factor, or who it was written by, what?

Give me your picks.


Jane Hunter

I read. I read constantly. I read for my job, I read to feed my imagination, but mostly, I read to escape. When I'm not reading, working, or exercising the grey matter, I retreat to a quiet place and sketch.

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