Back in August, I was lucky enough to read and review Robin Taley’s upcoming novel Pulp. The book piqued my interest in classic lesbian pulp fiction In my googling I came across this volume which collects twenty two classic lesbian pulp novels originally published between 1950 and 1965.
Though I find the cover to be a bit jarring, I was pleasantly surprised by the stories it contains. Katherine V. Forrest, who selected the stories for this collection, did an amazing job choosing the stories within. Not only are they well written, they also do a decent job avoiding the tropes that were all but mandated by publishers of the era. When these stories were originally published, most of the protagonists were required to either die or end up with a man by the end, thus reinforcing the idea that being a lesbian did not result in a safe or happy life.
Note: The pulp novels compiled in this volume are pretty heavy with bisexual erasure, with women being categorized as either heterosexual women targeted as prey by lesbians or completely homosexual.
I can’t review all of the stories in one post, but over the next two posts I’ll be taking you some of them with summaries and mini-reviews. Let’s get started!
Women’s Barracks by Tereska Torres
When a gorgeous older woman arrives at a French barracks in England, sparks are almost inevitable. Even with all the male soldiers around, Ursula finds herself drawn to the tall, blonde Claude.
Spring Fire by Vin Packer
Leda and Mitch are roomates in their sorority house and more than just friends. But loving a woman is a dangerous thing to do in a house full of young women where anyone could discover you in a compromising position.
Summer Camp by Anne Herbert
What’s gayer than falling in love with a girl at camp? How about if one girl is a camp counselor and the other the camp nurse? When Peggy begins questioning her sexuality, she enlists Lillian to help her figure it out… via experimentation.
These Curious Pleasures by Sloane Britain
When Allison’s lover Sloane gets a job in California, she asks Allison to come with her. Allison has doubts and her hesitation causes a rift in their relationship. Can they come back together before Sloane has to fly across the country?
The Third Street by Joan Ellis
When Pat, a young artist, finds herself falling in love with her nude model Karen, she struggles with whether she should stay away or get closer to the woman.
Chris by Randy Salem
With one of the most explicit covers in the set, Chris promises a a dramatic tale and it does not disappoint. Chris is with Dizz, but there’s trouble in paradise. When Dizz tries to manipulate Chris into canceling a trip they’ve been planning for weeks, things start to unravel.
Find this book on: Goodreads