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Lesbian Fiction Books - From Origins To Today - Lesbian Fiction Books Increase In Popularity
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Lesbian Fiction Books - From Origins to Today - Lesbian Fiction Books Increase In Popularity

When did it start? - First examples of Lesbian Fiction

The well of Loneliness (1928) by Radclyffe Hall is considered to be the first English language work of lesbian fiction or that at least had a lesbian theme, therefore can be considered the first of the lesbian fiction books. This novel was eventually banned in Britain but not in U.S. despite legal challenge.

It was in the 1950s and 60s that we can find the first boom in lesbian fiction books with lesbian pulp fiction (cheap fiction magazines). Lesbian Pulp Fiction started in 1896 gradually becoming more popular; these were 10 cents magazine as opposed to more expensive 25 cents glossy magazines. They were considered 'dirty' but it made lesbian fiction books more affordable therefore more popular. Eventually with world war 2 production costs for pulp magazines went up due to paper shortage and that was the beginning of the end for lesbian pulp fiction.

After that, there have been a few landmarks in the lesbian fiction books genre between the 1970s and the 2000s. For example 'Ruby' in 1976, and Happy Endings Are All Alike in 1978 are talked about as landmark lesbian books.


Loving Her (1974, lesbian novel about interracial lesbian relationship)

Kinflicks in 1976 (a lesbian book about coming out in 1950/1960s)

Curious Wine (1983, a best selling lesbian love story)

The Ladies (lesbian book about couple in Wales 1984)

Oranges are Not the Only Fruit (1985, lesbian teen growing up in British fundamentalist family)

Fried green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (1987)

Stone Butch Blues (1993)

The Hours (1998)

The Last Resort (1998) exploring lesbian life

Tipping the Velvet (1999, set in 1890)

Early on, in the 70s being lesbian was exposed as being in a passing phase; not only that but in lesbian books there were mainly no happy endings!

The message was that being homosexual meant having a difficult life.

It was in the early 80s that one of the lesbian books 'Annie on My Mind' by Nancy Garden presented homosexuality not as a phase but as permanent.

We have to fast-forward to the 90s to see an increase in volume of published lesbian fiction books with a number of them receiving good reviews and good sales numbers.

Things kept improving from 2000 onwards with more lesbian ficiton books being published and accepted by the public.

Do Lesbian Fiction Books constitute a genre?

Lesbian Books are part of a subcategory of the Fiction genre and include many genres; you can find lesbian fiction books in genres like lesbian romance, lesbian mystery, lesbian erotica, lesbian thrillers, lesbian paranormal, lesbian action and adventure, lesbian crime and thrillers, lesbian horror, comics, lesbian science fiction and fantasy, lesbian vampire books, supernatural, lesbian graphic novels, lesbian pulp fiction, etc...

Street Talk


Awesome, I mean I'm not a lesbian, but it's good to have that kind of literature as well.

  about 1 decade ago

Hi, is Ruby the same book as Rubyfruit Jungle?

  about 1 decade ago

Hi, no, they are different books Ruby is by Rosa Guy, published in 1976 Rubyfruit jungle is from Rita Mae Brown, published in 1973. This is a semi-biography as well. you reading any of the two?

  about 1 decade ago
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