Lesbian Classics

By Herstory

By Herstory

From The Well of Loneliness forward, some of the tried and true best of the genre.

The Well of Loneliness: The Classic of Lesbian Fiction

Radclyffe Hall

$17.00 $15.64

'One of the first and most influential contributions of gay and lesbian literature' - New Statesman

The Price of Salt: Or Carol

Patricia Highsmith

$9.94 $9.14

Published in 1952, The Price of Salt, about a lesbian love affair, was made into the 2015 film Carol, and (spoiler) the ending is realistic, but decidedly not tragic. In the book, nineteen-year-old stage designer Therese Belivet and Carol Aird, a wealthy woman in her early thirties going through a divorce, fall in love. Given that the novel was published seventeen years prior to Stonewall, I was expecting a lot of coy, plausible-deniability-ridden allusions, and a tragic ending, required at the time to avoid censorship. Instead, I found the book to be rich with frank expressions of desire—descriptions refreshingly different from the expressions of heterosexual desire that I am used to reading in novels with straight characters. -- Candace Walsh

Rubyfruit Jungle

Rita Mae Brown

$17.00 $15.64

The rare work of fiction that has changed real life . . . Because its heroine dares to be her unique and spirited self, despite society’s biases about class and sexuality, Rubyfruit Jungle has helped generations of readers to do the same. If you don’t yet know Molly Bolt—or Rita Mae Brown, who created her—I urge you to read and thank them both. -- Gloria Steinem

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

Jeanette Winterson

$16.00 $14.72

If Flannery O'Connor and Rita Mae Brown had collaborated on the coming-out story of a young British girl in the 1960s, maybe they would have approached the quirky and subtle hilarity of Jeanette Winterson's autobiographical first novel. . . . Winterson's voice, with its idiosyncratic wit and sensitivity, is one you've never heard before.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Fannie Flagg

$9.99 $9.19

For most people, the film remains a story about best friends and resilience. For those of us who have read the book and understand the real story behind it, however, it means so much more. We see our experiences and history being realized, despite the outside world’s attempts to erase or sterilize us. We feel validated in the love we feel for our best friends, friends who also become lovers and who are with us through child rearing and sickness. Like Idgie and Ruth, we know what it means to be queer, southern, and in love. -- Laura McGuire

Bastard Out of Carolina (Anniversary)

Dorothy Allison

$18.00 $16.56

"I was born in 1949, and by the time I was 10, I figured out that my hope chest was not aimed in the same direction everybody else's was. And that life was going to be very, very complicated. And that I could either be provocative and declamatory, or shy, retiring and scared. And ashamed. I couldn't do much about scared; I was always going to be scared. But I could damn well fight off shame." -- Dorothy Allison

Patience & Sarah

Isabel Miller

$17.95 $16.51

The story of a painter and a farmer in 19th-century New England. One of the first lesbian novels with a happy ending and, in 1971, the first recipient of ALA's Stonewall Book Award. -- Library Journal

Tipping the Velvet

Sarah Waters

$17.00 $15.64

If lesbian fiction is to reach a wider readership -- as much, though far from all, of it deserves to do -- Waters is just the person to carry the banner. -- Mairanda Waters, The New York Times

Nightwood

Djuna Barnes

$14.95 $13.75

Cassandra at the Wedding

Dorothy Baker

$16.95 $15.59

The Gilda Stories

Jewelle Gomez

$16.95 $15.59

Beyond the Pale

Elana Dykewomon

$25.99 $23.39