Sisters, Sexperts, Queers: Beyond the Lesbian Nation

Arlene Stein, Editor Plume Books $12.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-452-26887-6
This collection, edited by a San Francisco-based journalist, embodies the complexities and contradictions of contemporary lesbian culture and politics, which, Stein argues, have come a long way from the more dogmatic separatist orientation of the community a mere two decades ago. Stein has assembled a consistently eloquent set of essays by journalists and academics, distinguished by the resolute refusal of almost all the authors to be reduced to just their sexuality. This is reflected in the book's best pieces, which combine the personal and the political in a way that is both poignant and incisive: a moving autobiographical work by Dorothy Allison ( Bastard Out of Carolina ) about growing up as poor white trash in the South; Jackie Goldsby's essay on the Vanessa Williams porn scandal and how the black community reacted to it; and a piece by Lisa Kahaleole Chang Hall on the tension among identities embodied in the politics of being an Asian-American feminist lesbian. Stein has structured the book intelligently so that the sections lead into one another in a nice progression from the individualism of intimacy to questions of a larger community of interest, whether with gay men or feminists. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
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