The Lesbian In Literature, 1967-1981

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A Guide to Lesbian History References

Republished with the permission of Barbara Grier

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Cover, The Lesbian in Literature, 3rd Edition, 1981

History of The Lesbian In Literature

In 1981, Barbara Grier published the third edition of the extremely influential The Lesbian in Literature. Maida Tilchen's foreword to the third edition gives a comprehensive overview of the history of The Lesbian In Literature."

The Lesbian in Literature's history is typical of so much of lesbian culture. Although it was primarily compiled by one incredible woman, Barbara Grier, hundreds of women contributed information for it.
It began as an outgrowth of The Ladder, the lesbian magazine published from 1956 to 1972. Barbara Grier had been collecting information on lesbian writing for many years.
In 1958, Marion Zimmer Bradley (now a well known science fiction writer) compiled two brief booklists, entitled "Astra's Tower Special Leaflets #2 and #3." In 1960, Bradley and Barbara Grier, who was using the pseudonym "Gene Damon," issued a hand-typed, mimeographed bibliography called "The Checklist," followed by supplements in 1961 and 1962.
In 1967, The Ladder published the first edition of The Lesbian in Literature, by Gene Damon and Lee Stuart. It included about three thousand books published through 1965.
Meanwhile, Barbara had been writing a regular column for The Ladder called "Lesbiana," in which she briefly discussed new books by writers known to be lesbians or having some relevance to lesbianism. Ladder readers from all over the world sent her information for the column.
In 1975, the Second Edition. an updated version of the bibliography, was issued. The authors were Gene Damon, Jan Watson, and Robin Jordan.
I can remember how enthusiastically the upcoming publication of this second edition was discussed at the 1975 Lesbian Writers' Conference in Chicago. Every woman there knew how useful The Lesbian in Literature would be, whether they used it primarily as readers, writers, book collectors, bibliographers, biographers, archivists, historians, researchers, or librarians.

Third edition introduction

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, Introduction

Third edition texts

Explore the 3rd edition texts of The Lesbian in Literature in the orginal format.


These PDFs are searchable to help your browsing. After opening the PDF simply type your search term(s) in the "Find" box in the top right hand corner of the screen. Then, scroll through the document to see your highlighted search term(s).


If you'd like to do a more advanced search, hit the downward facing arrow next to the "Find" box. Select "Full Acrobat Search." This will enable additional search functions.


You can only search the pages in one PDF document at a time.


The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 1-6, A

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 6-23, B

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 23-33, C

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 33-41, D

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 41-49, E,F

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 49-57, G

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 57-67, H,I

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 68-72, 89-90, J,K

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 90-98, L

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 98-113, M

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 113-117, N,O

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 118-123, P,Q

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 123-132, R

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 132-150, S

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 150-157, T,U,V

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 157-166, W

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 166-168, Y,Z

Third edition photographs

Browse photographs of lesbian authors listed in the book.


The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, page 73

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 74-75

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 76-77

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 78-79

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 80-81

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 82-83

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 84-85

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, pages 86-87

The Lesbian In Literature, 3rd edition, page 88


Codes in the Bibliography

In order to increase the research value of the bibliography, the authors of The Lesbian in Literature used a code to show varying amounts of the lesbian related content and genre of book. The following explanation of the code is excerpted from the introduction to the second edition (reprinted in the third edition).


A - This symbol, A, following an entry indicates major Lesbian characters and/or action.
B - This symbol, B, following an entry indicates minor Lesbian characters and/or action.
C - This symbol, C, following an entry indicates latent, repressed Lesbianism or characters who can be so interpreted. This type of behavior is properly termed "variant" behavior.
T - This symbol, T, following an entry indicates that regardless of the quantity of Lesbian action or characters involved in the book, the quality is essentially poor. The "T" is for "trash."


Asterisks

To aid those interested in finding Lesbian material of the best quality, we have adopted an asterisk coding system. The use of a single asterisk, *, indicates some interest beyond the ordinary. The use of two asterisks, **, indicates very substantial quality of Lesbian material, and the use of three asterisks, *** , indicates those few titles that stand out above all the rest and must properly belong in any collection of Lesbian literature. The asterisk system, in itself, has nothing to do with the "literary" quality of the material, only with the quality of the Lesbian material in the work in question...


Abbreviations

Standard abbreviations are used throughout. Following is a list of some of the abbreviations which might not be in general usage:

pbo - paperback original title. A book that has not first appeared in hardback. The addition of "q" indicates the so-called quality paperback original, usually higher in price.
pbr - paperback reprint title
tct - title changed to
s.s - short story
s.n. - short novel (or novella)
(p) - poetry. Used to designate entire collections and also to indicate individual poems in a collection.
(d) - drama
(biog) - biography
(auto) - autobiography


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Maida said ...
11:24, 5 February 2011 (EST)
I just stumbled on this and am so glad to see the bibliography available to everyone so conveniently. First of all, my total appreciation to Barbara Grier and her lifetime of saving lesbian history. And she's still at it--she answered a question for me just last week! I had so much fun collecting lesbian books using the bibliography, and I wish many happy hours of book collecting to anyone else who is saving our lesbian culture, one book at a time. I urge you to especially watch for the dozens of lesbian-owned small press and self-published books (and record albums)from the '70s. These will probably seem as surprising to today's collectors as the 50s pulps I collected in the '70s (now in the Lesbian Herstory Archives.) Happy hunting! Best, Maida Tilchen, February 2011


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