Women on Women: An Anthology of American Lesbian Short Fiction

Joan Nestle, Author, Various, Author, Joan Nestle, Editor
Joan Nestle, Author, Various, Author, Joan Nestle, Editor Plume Books $13.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-452-26388-8
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
Nestle ( A Restricted Country ) and Holoch ( Offseason ) assemble 28 short stories and novel excerpts, some appearing in print for the first time here. Although uneven in scope and quality, these pieces feature a surprising range of lesbian women, from a Jewish grandmother to a 21-year-old self-described bulldyke. Several selections grapple with personal solutions to common problems, such as surviving the loss of a lover, addressed by both Teya Schaffer in ``With Love, Lena'' and Becky Birtha's ``In the Life.'' In ``When It Changed,'' a separatist fantasy from Joanna Russ, men reclaim a planet that women have quite contentedly inhabited alone for 600 years. Jess Wells's ``Aqua'' is a woman who, 16 years after her mother's suicide, still fights to come to terms with that death and her own life. In ``A Letter to Harvey Milk'' Leslea Newman draws parallels between the Holocaust and the assassination of Milk, a gay San Francisco politician. The open eroticism of a few stories and a conspicuous shortage of likable male characters may diminish the collection's mainstream appeal. ( May )
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