cover image Between Us

Between Us

Chronicle Books. Chronicle Books, $17.95 (160pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-1442-3

This brief, attractively produced volume is made up of love letters written by women to women over the past 150 years and dozens of collages by Turner and artist Sheri Tornatore. The letters are variously beautiful, banal, funny, angry, illiterate, arousing, explicit and coded. Though the bulk of them are from the 1980s and '90s written by and to unfamous lesbians, there is also the occasional letter to or from known names. Every one of the 62 letters offers something of interest, yet all are hampered by an almost complete lack of context. Notes about each letter and its correspondents are included at the back of the book; instead, they would have been far more useful at the foot of each page. Thus, some readers may miss the fact that a charming and ingratiating letter was written by the usually bullish Gertrude Stein to her longtime lover, Alice B. Toklas. Although the book's somewhat cluttered if imaginative design and organization hamper its potential effect, the end result is nevertheless a worthy volume. (Nov.)