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Strange Sisters: The Art of Lesbian Pulp Fiction 1949-1969

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In the scandalous world of pulp fiction in the 1950s and into the 60s, detectives, gangsters, and mad doctors were joined on the racks by bad girls, dissolute youths, drug-crazed beatniks, and other assorted miscreants and misfits. Where romance met with soft porn there was also a surprisingly large population of butch brunettes pursuing and seducing blond femmes. This was In the scandalous world of pulp fiction in the 1950s and into the 60s, detectives, gangsters, and mad doctors were joined on the racks by bad girls, dissolute youths, drug-crazed beatniks, and other assorted miscreants and misfits. Where romance met with soft porn there was also a surprisingly large population of butch brunettes pursuing and seducing blond femmes. This was an alternate universe of erotic pulp fiction where gals and dolls were exploring the illicit pleasures of lesbian love -- much to the delight of a largely male, heterosexual readership. Before the sexual revolution of the 1960s, these books offered a thrilling peek into the deviant underworld of wild passion and scandalous sex.


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In the scandalous world of pulp fiction in the 1950s and into the 60s, detectives, gangsters, and mad doctors were joined on the racks by bad girls, dissolute youths, drug-crazed beatniks, and other assorted miscreants and misfits. Where romance met with soft porn there was also a surprisingly large population of butch brunettes pursuing and seducing blond femmes. This was In the scandalous world of pulp fiction in the 1950s and into the 60s, detectives, gangsters, and mad doctors were joined on the racks by bad girls, dissolute youths, drug-crazed beatniks, and other assorted miscreants and misfits. Where romance met with soft porn there was also a surprisingly large population of butch brunettes pursuing and seducing blond femmes. This was an alternate universe of erotic pulp fiction where gals and dolls were exploring the illicit pleasures of lesbian love -- much to the delight of a largely male, heterosexual readership. Before the sexual revolution of the 1960s, these books offered a thrilling peek into the deviant underworld of wild passion and scandalous sex.

30 review for Strange Sisters: The Art of Lesbian Pulp Fiction 1949-1969

  1. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    I love vintage pulp fiction covers regardless of the subject or sexual persuasion, cool art is cool art. As the dateline in the title suggests, the covers in the book are from the golden age of sexual taboo'ed novels. Some of the great artists that painted these covers are Robert Maguire, Barye Philips, Paul Rader and the king himself, Robert McGinnis. Some of the titles to the books are: Coming Out Party, The Doctor & The Dike, Man Hater, Strumpet's Jungle, The Price Was Perversity, Whisper Thei I love vintage pulp fiction covers regardless of the subject or sexual persuasion, cool art is cool art. As the dateline in the title suggests, the covers in the book are from the golden age of sexual taboo'ed novels. Some of the great artists that painted these covers are Robert Maguire, Barye Philips, Paul Rader and the king himself, Robert McGinnis. Some of the titles to the books are: Coming Out Party, The Doctor & The Dike, Man Hater, Strumpet's Jungle, The Price Was Perversity, Whisper Their Love, and other classics of "cliterature". This is a well-researched book and you'll have fun ogling the foxy art inside.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susana

    This is now the only book that I own and it will travel with me from place to place. The subject matter is fascinating, the reproductions of the books covers are great and I found the author's comments interesting. I especially liked the foreword by Ann Bannon. A very enjoyable history lesson. This is now the only book that I own and it will travel with me from place to place. The subject matter is fascinating, the reproductions of the books covers are great and I found the author's comments interesting. I especially liked the foreword by Ann Bannon. A very enjoyable history lesson.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tabi

    It was fascinating to learn a bit about how the queer mass market paperback market exploded after WWII, and to see how the genre flowed into science fiction, mystery and nonfiction, as well as erotica and fiction through the 50’s and 60’s. Many covers were either indiscernible as queer lit, or was overly explicit and verging on pornographic, and would sometimes deal with real-life events, such as the Kinsey report or factionalized accounts of transgender people in the news. It was also interesti It was fascinating to learn a bit about how the queer mass market paperback market exploded after WWII, and to see how the genre flowed into science fiction, mystery and nonfiction, as well as erotica and fiction through the 50’s and 60’s. Many covers were either indiscernible as queer lit, or was overly explicit and verging on pornographic, and would sometimes deal with real-life events, such as the Kinsey report or factionalized accounts of transgender people in the news. It was also interesting to learn about the handful of known authors today that wrote under assumed names, or “house” publishing pseudonyms in this body of work, as well as the use of “twilight,” “odd,” and “lavender” to queer code these books through their titles. Interesting quick reads for anyone wanting to learn more about the history of queer American culture in broader society, or queer history in general.

  4. 4 out of 5

    HeavyReader

    I read Chris Robinson's copy while I was staying at her house. This book is mostly eye candy. There is a forward from Ann Bannon (of Beebo Brinker fame) and an introduction by Jaye Zimet, as well as snippets of her commentary about some of the covers, but as the tag line on the front says, this book is focused on the art (primarily the cover art) of lesbian pulp fiction. There is much cleavage, sexy underwear, and smoldering looks. More hilarious than the visuals are the words on the cover meant t I read Chris Robinson's copy while I was staying at her house. This book is mostly eye candy. There is a forward from Ann Bannon (of Beebo Brinker fame) and an introduction by Jaye Zimet, as well as snippets of her commentary about some of the covers, but as the tag line on the front says, this book is focused on the art (primarily the cover art) of lesbian pulp fiction. There is much cleavage, sexy underwear, and smoldering looks. More hilarious than the visuals are the words on the cover meant to tantalize and grab the reader. Here's a quote from Unnatural: "A vivd and searching novel of forbidden love in the twilight world of the third sex." And from Reformatory Girls: "They were young and lonely enough for anything." And from Her Raging Needs: "A savage hunger drove her from man to man. Then she fell into the clutches of a perverse woman!" You get the idea. All books illustrated are from Jaye Zimet's personal collection. A nice book to look at and important for collecting images of books that won't last forever, but not exactly deep or probing writing.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    Another collection of lurid pulp fiction paperback cover art. Nice forward by Ann Bannion - author of more than a few of the books represented in this collection - which focuses on the incongruity of the covers vs. the content of the books. Jay Zimet’s introduction picks up on Bannion’s theme but also essays some semiotic readings of the covers, noting, for example, the typical portrayals of butch vs. femme. The 200 covers in the collection are divided into categories such as “Women Alone,” “Stra Another collection of lurid pulp fiction paperback cover art. Nice forward by Ann Bannion - author of more than a few of the books represented in this collection - which focuses on the incongruity of the covers vs. the content of the books. Jay Zimet’s introduction picks up on Bannion’s theme but also essays some semiotic readings of the covers, noting, for example, the typical portrayals of butch vs. femme. The 200 covers in the collection are divided into categories such as “Women Alone,” “Strange Sisters,” “Psycho-Babble,” “Dangerous Desires,” etc., and each category has a brief paragraph introducing the category. Each of the covers is accompanied with information of the publisher, publication date, author and painter when known, plus occasional editorial comments. Has a good bibliography of resources and a complete index of titles and authors.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Crawford

    If you are going to do a book about covers of something, this is basically the way to do it. The book has a regular introduction and a foreword. Each section of the book has its own short intro. There are numerous photos of pulp covers of lesbian novels, and each one of these has some information added underneath the photo. All of these together make this a very excellent reference source. The photos are also large enough to be easily viewable, another positive point in the books favor. Overall a If you are going to do a book about covers of something, this is basically the way to do it. The book has a regular introduction and a foreword. Each section of the book has its own short intro. There are numerous photos of pulp covers of lesbian novels, and each one of these has some information added underneath the photo. All of these together make this a very excellent reference source. The photos are also large enough to be easily viewable, another positive point in the books favor. Overall a must resource for anyone interested in lesbian-related writing during the time period of 1949 through 1969.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amris

    This book is a fantastic catalog of lesbian pulp novels from 1949-1969. Zimet does not only displays cover art of the novels, but also proivides insight into the politics of publication, the tropes that plagued both the stories and covers of the genre, and addresses the male gaze. I used this book as a kind of bibliography for a paper I wrote about the subject and it was an incredibly valuable resource.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lissa

    This book is an interesting collection of various lesbian pulp fiction covers from the 1950s and 1960s. The foreword is by Ann Bannon, the "queen of lesbian pulp," and quotes from the various books showcased in this book are sprinkled throughout. There's also a small list of resources for those who are interested in collecting such books. This book is an interesting collection of various lesbian pulp fiction covers from the 1950s and 1960s. The foreword is by Ann Bannon, the "queen of lesbian pulp," and quotes from the various books showcased in this book are sprinkled throughout. There's also a small list of resources for those who are interested in collecting such books.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nikos

    Good commentary, excellent selection, and awesome foreword! I liked the little blurbs under each cover. Some of the variations of the same story (aka: the original edition + republications' covers) were not as interesting since they were similar, but was fun overall. Good commentary, excellent selection, and awesome foreword! I liked the little blurbs under each cover. Some of the variations of the same story (aka: the original edition + republications' covers) were not as interesting since they were similar, but was fun overall.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    This book is hilarious. Not a whole lot of reading, more of a coffee table book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marissa

    Hilarious captions and a kick ass introduction from Ann Bannon about how publishing companies pushed for covers that would interest men despite a mostly female readership of lesbian pulp.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kristie

  13. 4 out of 5

    C. M.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

  15. 4 out of 5

    Allan

  16. 4 out of 5

    Greg Poneris

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hana Zittel

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

  19. 5 out of 5

    Elisebeth

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  21. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Rouse

  22. 4 out of 5

    Azem

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gina

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarah C

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jim

  27. 5 out of 5

    McPhaul M.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Randyg8764

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jodi

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