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- Adlon, Arthur. Strange Nurse. 1962. E 12mo #3961.
- Will Eleanor steal the luscious, promiscuous Evelyn away from
Lew, the nice young intern? Lew's a momma's boy, and he wants to
wait-but Evelyn doesn't. And with Eleanor around, why should
- Arden, Val. The Twilight Lust. 1965. E Pam 12mo
- Easily the worst of these books; the story line makes leaps
that indicate pages, if not chapters, might have been left out-the
major editorial failing, next to the lack of proofreading. Janice
came to NYC from a farm (of course), and feels that men constantly
take advantage of her physically-beginning with the neighbor boy,
when she was a child. But, gosh, she's so easily overcome by her
body's desires...and for a while, she transfers those desires to
Janet. Ultimately, Janice marries the man she felt most abused by.
The bulk of the book is taken up by sexual scenes.
Anne Bannon is probably the best-known of the lesbian pulp
authors; her Beebo Brinker is a legendary butch. The lives of her
major characters intertwine and carry over from one novel to the
next. The novels definitely contribute to one "umbrella" story
about Beebo, Laura, and the other inhabitants of Greenwich Village,
but weren't written in order. The "chronological" order of the
novels in regard to the story (which spans-approximately-a decade)
is: Beebo Brinker; Odd Girl Out; I Am a Woman; Women in the
Shadows; and Journey to a Woman. Bannon creates
fully-developed characters and real story lines, rather than the
more sensationalist pulps that often used flimsy stories as bare
framework upon which to hang sexual exploits (which is not to say
that Bannon's books aren't sexy!). Once Bannon's characters find
the Village, they never want to leave.
- Bannon, Ann. Beebo Brinker. 1986, 1962. E #13264.
- Beebo arrives in the Village fresh from the small town where
people always looked at her oddly. Luckily, the first one to notice
her is Jack, who takes her under his wing and introduces her to the
Village scene-and to her own desire for women. Beebo ends up going
to Hollywood and back before figuring out which woman is her true
- Bannon, Ann. I Am a Woman. 1983, 1959. E 12mo #4222; E
- Laura is running: from college and a failed love affair; from
her cold, abusive father and his lavish Chicago lifestyle. She's
also running from her NYC roommate, whom she can't bear to see in
the arms of a man. But once she meets Beebo Brinker and sees all
that Greenwich Village has to offer, she stops to face her fears
and catch her breath.
- Bannon, Ann. Journey to a Woman. 1986, 1960. E
- Whatever happened to Beth, Laura's first love? She married the
man she chose over Laura, has two children, and finds herself bored
to tears with her husband and her life. Following a series of
dreams about Laura, Beth leaves her family and tracks Laura down in
NYC, certain that Laura's love is what she needs. Nina Spicer,
writer of lesbian fiction, shows Beth around the Village, and
naturally Beth runs into Beebo, who leads her to Laura. Interesting
subplot involving Beth's vengeful lover from back home.
- Bannon, Ann. Odd Girl Out. 1983, 1957. E #13260.
Bannon, Ann. Odd Girl Out: An Original Gold Medal Novel.
1960, 1957. E 12mo #5414.
- The predecessor to I Am a Woman, this novel introduces
Laura and chronicles the love affair that drives her from college.
Beth takes sorority sister Laura as her roommate-and more-then
betrays Laura with a man. Laura ultimately thanks Beth for showing
her "who she really is."
- Bannon, Ann. Women in the Shadows. 1983, 1959. E
- Laura is tired of Beebo, and she's cheating on her. When Beebo
finds her diary, the gig is up for the two of them. Laura runs to
Jack, who's on the wagon and, thanks to a grueling breakup, off men
"for good." Jack proposes to Laura; he wants a "normal" life, and
children. Laura is torn between a need for security and her desire
for women; security wins out, but only after a spirited tug-of-war
on all sides.
- Bishop, Leonard. Creep into Thy Narrow Bed. 1956,
1954. E 12mo #4290.
- "Adam could survive sadistic beatings, but he could not bear
the thought of what would happen to his inverted sister if he tried
to escape the racket." The focus is mainly on Adam, who recruits
patients for an abortion "racket", but there is some emphasis on
his "inverted" sister, Petey.
- Brock, Lilyan. Queer Patterns. [1953?], 1935. E 12mo
- "A powerful novel of a little-known menace." Aspiring actress
Sheila has always known she wasn't like the other girls...Nicoli,
Sheila's director in a new stage production, quickly "typecasts"
her, leading this ingenue down the "path of corruption."
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- Campbell, Bea. Orgy of the Dolls. 1967. E 12mo
- "This is an extravagant, factual, easy to understand report
about the most incredible sexual female known to man...the nympho
lesbian." This "shocking, vital and true" volume is a collection of
"case histories" (which offer quite a bit of detail and dialogue)
from the files of a psychiatrist, and goes so far as to include a
bibliography. Hits all of the major stereotypes. "It seemed
suspicious to the doctor that a pretty young girl, even one who
admitted to being a lesbian, would be so interested in success in
the business world."
- Cassill, R. V. (Ronald Verlin). Dormitory Women. 1959,
1954. E 12mo #4361
- If Millie wants to fit in at Blackhawk University, she'll need
to overcome her problems before her deep need for revenge overcomes
her with tragic consequences. This novel has many of the hallmarks
of the genre: orphans, rape, molestation, institutionalization,
murder, promiscuity, and women in group living situations.
- Cassill, R. V. (Ronald Verlin). Nurses' Quarters.
1961. E 12mo #5027.
- The first-person narrator is male; the story revolves around
his experiences of a military barracks on a South Seas island,
where the nurses are running a prostitution ring. He falls for one
of the nurses and tries to extricate her from the web of vice; she
has a couple of lesbian encounters, but lesbians aren't the focus
of the book. Reads like a hard-boiled detective story.
- Christian, Paula. Amanda: A New Novel. E 12mo
- Ev writes "les books", but she's not a lesbian; she simply puts
a woman in the man's "traditional" place. When a young writer sends
her a manuscript, she gives encouragement, and suddenly Amanda's in
NYC & Ev can't resist the temptation to learn about Lesbianism.
Amanda leaves Ev to spiral down into alcoholism, but she also meets
some new people, like Cynthia and Edie, who help Ev come to terms
with her new orientation.
- Christian, Paula. Another Kind of Love. 1961. E 12mo
- Hollywood can be full of surprises, even for a veteran like
Laura, a writer for a fan magazine. Out on assignment to interview
a Norma Desmond-like star, she meets Ginny, the star's "protege",
and Laura's slow in figuring the truth of their relationship and
the reason behind Ginny's interest in her. Laura moves to NYC,
eventually gets over Ginny, and falls in love with Madeline.
Written in a first-person, sarcastic style; ends happily.
- Christian, Paula. This Side of Love. 1963. E 12mo
- "How could a bitch-kitten like Toni hold Val in thrall?"
Animation artist Val is returning to her hometown, L.A., but she's
brought along Toni, the woman who "turned her gay" three years
before. Val has problems accepting her identity and dealing with
Toni, ultimately resulting in a nervous breakdown. Her psychiatrist
offers much Freudian reasoning for her "condition". The writing
gets heated: "The curdled milk of passion sat inside her breast
like an infested, running sore."
- Draper, Jess. One Step More. E 12mo #4389. 1963.
- Stash has known Carol since high school, and she's the only
thing he's ever wanted. Unfortunately for Stash, Carol only wanted
women then, and that's all she wants now. Stash will try to make
her a "real woman" using any means necessary, including, for some
reason, bedding her girlfriend (a dancer Carol "keeps" in the
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- Evans, John. Halo in Brass. 1950, 1949. E 12mo
- Combines the best of two pulp worlds: lesbian and detective.
Hired by an old Nebraskan couple to locate their daughter, private
dick Paul Pine stumbles upon a trail of murdered lesbians,
including a few living as men. The police detective comments, at
the end of the novel, that at least the people that died "didn't
matter", and Pine gives the guy a bit of flack over that. No sex to
- Johanet, Yvonne. I, Lesbian. 1964. E Pam 12mo
- "The FIRST book based on actual CASE HISTORIES that dares to
SPELL OUT the shocking FACTS about the strange world of lesbians."
This volume is written in a more journalistic style than others
purporting to be scientific studies-i.e., it lacks a huge dose of
explicit sex. Learn about different facets Lesbian life, such as
how they dress; Lesbian marriage rituals; "disguised orgy parties";
and the "Madison Avenue Group". Read about a woman whose body
actually becomes more masculine-complete with shrinking breasts.
Nice line illustrations of dykes in suits having good times.
- Marr, Reed. Women without Men. 1957. E 12mo
- Another "true story", this time about women behind bars in
Kennetank prison. The excellent cover copy describes the evil Queen
who spins her web to trap the other hapless inmates. Then Mary
shows up to take the crown and control of the prison-with a gentler
- Morgan, Claire (Patricia Highsmith). The Price of
Salt. 1953, 1952. E 12mo #4362; E #13153.
- Therese leaves the safety of the orphanage to forge an acting
career in NYC. She settles for a job in the toy department of a
large department store, and meets Carol on the opposite side of the
counter. A few doll sales and a thank-you card later, Therese ends
up at Carol's country house, under the wing of the rich, older
woman. One of the few lesbian pulps with an upbeat ending.
- Morrell, Lee. Nurses' Quarters. 1960. E 12mo
- The pediatrics ward at Mercy Hospital is a hotbed of sexual
activity-among the nurses. New girl Claire has a choice to make:
she can stay with Birdie, who runs the ward and the women on it,
but runs hot-and-cold toward Claire. Or she can forsake Birdie and
reach "emotional maturity" as a heterosexual (with one of the young
- Packer, Vin. The Evil Friendship. 1958. E 12mo
- Mary and Martha go to a girls' school (complete with lesbian
gym teacher), and are accused of carrying on a "significant
relationship". The story barely fictionalizes the 1954 Parker-Hulme
murder case in New Zealand, which was the basis of the 1994 film
Heavenly Creatures. The girls dally in Druidic rites and
use their "Druid stone" for matricide; their diaries are used for
evidence in the trial. The inside cover of the book proclaims the
case's similarity to the sensationalized Leopold and Loeb trial.
Packer also wrote under the names Ann Aldrich, Marijane Meaker,
Mary James, and M.E. Kerr.
- Salem, Randy. Sex in the Shadows. 1965. E 12mo
- "There are no heroines in the world of demi-sex...This novel is
honest. It dares to picture...those outcasts of society-the
Lesbians!" Stephie grew up without a mother. She moved to NYC to
learn to be a civil engineer, just like her father. A pretty basic
story about a love quartet, written in a light style with a
first-person narrator, with lots of sex throughout and a happy
- Spain, Vicki. To Drown Our Lusts. 1965. E 12mo
- Nick wants Sylvie, but she wants Marianne, who wants it all.
Sylvie and Marianne like a little pain with their pleasure-and what
a pleasure it is. It's short on plot, but chock-full of sex of
every description-including a Parisian orgy.
- Starr, Leda. All at Once. 1967. E 12mo #5162.
- Coral Valdez, a self-professed "creature of pleasure", escapes
from a small town to NYC, prostituting herself to men and women
alike along the way. She falls for Tessa, a madame for lesbian
hookers, and works for her once she gets to the city. Coral meets
Bunny in a bar, but doesn't take their relationship seriously, and
uses Bunny as an outlet for her personal degradations-until Bunny
kills her in a fit of jealousy, just before Coral can marry this
old man she met "on the job". The sex is degrading and sometimes
violent. The story is told in flashbacks during Coral's dying
- Stevens, Gus. The Gay Tease. 1965. E 12mo #3962.
- Intrigue at the newspaper! The paper's librarian is a chic,
predatory lesbian; there's some lesbian content, but the focus is
the heterosexual relationships between other coworkers. The
dialogue is straight-up Rat Pack, and there's copious sexual
content-including illustrations. These antics surround the story of
the new girl's attempt to prove herself more than a secretary; she
wants to be one of the reporters, and pulls a dangerous stunt to
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- Taylor, Valerie. The Girls in 3-B. 1959. E 12mo
- Three girls from small-town Iowa move to Chicago. Two find men
and promiscuity, and the third finds an older woman at the store
where she works. Another rare happy ending-the girl gets the girl.
There are overtones of incest in Barby's relationship with her
The books in the "Erika Frohmann Series" were not published in
an order matched to the story's timeline. Return to Lesbos
takes place within a year of World without Men, and gives
the impression that Kate had died in a serious accident, which is
odd since Kate was quite healthy at the end of her hospital stay in
World. Stranger on Lesbos (1960), which is not yet a part
of our collection, comes between World and Return
yet it was the first volume to see publication.
- Taylor, Valerie. Journey to Fulfillment. 1964. E
- After WWII, Erika is sent from a concentration camp to a
resettlement camp, then adopted by an American couple. Erika
doesn't have words for what she finds in the small Midwestern town,
but she knows she wants it. Her new sister's best friend "brings
her out", then Erika falls prey to the despotic sexual whims of
sister Judy. Finally, she finds peace with an older woman in the
community-a teacher at her school. Introduces the term "kiki" to
describe a woman who will go butch or femme.
- Taylor, Valerie. Return to Lesbos. 1963. E
- Frances is stuck in a classic Feminine Mystique-type
dilemma: she's been hustled out to the suburbs by her husband of 21
years, in an attempt to leave her lover and the surrounding scandal
behind. Bored to tears in her big house and unwilling to socialize
with the "Wives", she sees Erika in a bookstore and, recognizing a
kindred spirit, falls in love. Erika's too busy recovering from
Kate's death (!) to want anything to do with Frances, but with the
help of the bookstore owner, she comes around and Erika and Frances
eventually come together.
- Taylor, Valerie. World without Men. 1963. E
- Twelve years after Journey to Fulfillment, we find
Erika working as a music teacher in a small town, where she
befriends Kate, a fellow tenant at her boarding house. Kate is
alcoholic and struggling with the side effects of repressed
memories from her childhood (severe physical abuse, incest); she
finally comes to terms with her past after a disastrous date (not
rape) and a severe accident. Kate visits her shrink for the last
time and walks into the sunset with Erika.
- TorrÃ¨s, Tereska. Women's Barracks. 1950. E
- Another time-honored tale of women who can't keep their hands
to themselves while together. This time, the women are in the
French army, and the book is their "true stories" as told to the
author. Expect all of the conventions of the genre with this
one-especially innocent girls and experienced, predatory women. The
first page declares "Women's Barracks wins court test!"
Apparently, a traveling salesman was arrested in St. Paul for
peddling obscenity; the court decided that the book didn't have the
power to corrupt the innocent in 1953. Shocking!
- Van Dyke, Kris. Part-Time Lez. 1967. E 12mo
- "A part-time Lesbian. A full-time nympho. And a
dyed-in-the-wool rebel!" Kris is the daughter of the Middleton's
bank president, and expects to marry Adam, a young lawyer, in the
near future. For the moment, Adam isn't giving her enough, so she's
still experimenting-with Jack, a hitchhiker she picked up, and
Judy, her best friend. Adam dumps Kris for being oversexed; Jack
and Judy marry, and have a tryst with Kris mere hours after their
wedding. Kris also harbours some really strong feelings for her
father. There's plenty of sex in this book, but it's clear that the
lesbianism is just an "experiment".
- Verel, Shirley. The Dark Side of Venus. 1962, 1960. E
- "A frank and probing (ahem!) novel" that takes place
amongst the English upper crust, with a Fitzgeraldian flair to it.
Julian doesn't understand why Judith won't marry him; how can
Judith explain that she loves another-woman?