In this issue…


About BTWOF
Books to Watch Out For publishes monthly e-letters celebrating books on various topics. Each issue includes new book announcements, brief reviews, commentary, news and, yes, good book gossip.

The Lesbian Edition
covers both lesbian books and the whole range of books lesbians like to read . It covers news of both the women in print movement and mainstream publishing. Written and compiled by Carol Seajay.
» Click here to subscribe.
»
Click here for more info.
» Click here to tell a friend
   about the Lesbian Edition.

The Gay Men's Edition
announces and reviews new books by and about gay men as well as other books of interest and gay publishing news. Written and compiled by Richard Labonte.
» Click here to subscribe.
»
Click here for more info.
» Click here to tell a friend
   about the Gay Men's Edition.

More Books for Women
will launch in 2004.
» Click here to be notified
   when it launches.

Q. How does BTWOF define "a lesbian book?"

A. We think that any book that belongs to a lesbian is a lesbian book, just as any bike that belongs to a girl is "a girl's bike."

BTWOF: The Lesbian Edition covers a wide range of books likely to be of interest to our readers as well as books with lesbian content and books by lesbian writers.

Advertising & Sponsorships
BTWOF is financed by subscriptions, rather than advertising or book sales. Publishers and individuals who wish to help launch BTWOF are invited to sponsor any of the first 12 issues. Write to Mozelle Mathews for sponsorship information.

Housekeeping
If you want to change your BTWOF email address or other contact information, click here to update:
» your subscriber profile
» whatever has changed.



The Lesbian Edition


December 2003
Volume 1 Number 3

Greetings!

New features this month include Writing Wanted, a quick list of books reviewed in this issue, and a contest.

Writing Wanted will run at the end of each issue, whenever we get appropriate calls for writing. (Send items for consideration to Editor.) The printable list of books will be accessible online, from the Table of Contents. Thanks to everyone who asked for it. And the contest is for the most outrageous or distant location where subscribers are reading BTWOF or for the most outrageous "How I Heard About BTWOF" story.  (See the end of the column for details.) The prize is a one-year extension on your sub or a gift subscription for anyone you choose. The contest will run as long as we’re all having fun with it.

Enjoy the issue!

Yours in spreading the words,

Carol Seajay
for Books To Watch Out For

Find of the Month

Help! I’m trapped in 1962 on a Canadian Air Force base! Actor/playwright/novelist Ann-Marie MacDonald’s wonderful, morally complex 700+ page novel, The Way the Crow Flies, brings some of the “bad things that happened to little girls in the sixties” (The Advocate) into the light of day and demands – via the character who grows up to be an out lesbian stand-up comedienne – explanations. No, I take it back: I'm not“trapped” – just caught up in it. It’s a delicious novel and it’s a hard choice whether to devour it all at once or stretch it out as long as possible.

Canadian media is often gutsier than the American media, and MacDonald is a Canadian literary hero. Her first novel, Fall on Your Knees, addressed incest so brilliantly that it was an Oprah Book Club selection, then was translated and published in 23 languages. Her most popular play, Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning, Juliet), was produced in 50 venues. Her acting career includes a nomination for a Genie for her role as the curator’s girlfriend in I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, but lesbian bibliophiles may remember her best as the lesbian feminist bookseller in Better than Chocolate. She and her partner, stage director Alisa Palmer, were among the first to marry under Canada’s gaily-revised marriage laws and they’ve recently adopted a baby girl. Publishers Weekly describes MacDonald as “Like Hepburn…one of those women who makes menswear look crisp and elegant,” and as wearing “a neat, tweedy bowler.” I can hardly wait to see the rest of the reviews roll in.

The Way the Crow Flies, HarperCollins, $26.95; Fall on Your Knees, Scribner, $14.

Holiday Reading

Short on time, but needing a little levity and a laugh to get you through the holiday stresses? Turn to Ellen Degeneres’ The Funny Thing Is… It, like anything Ellen, is alternately funny and poignant, and it reads well in small bits. Ellen, ever a friend to booksellers, performed excerpts from the manuscript in progress as a benefit for ABFFE (American Booksellers Foundation for Freedom of Expression) last spring at the American Booksellers Association meetings. Simon & Schuster, $23: audio – which might be even better than the book – is $26 for the cassette (abridged) or $30 for the unabridged CD.

If you’d benefit from a bit a cheerleading to get you through December, turn to Some Things I Never Thought I’d Do, Pearl Cleage’s marvelous tale of a recovering cocaine addict getting her act back in balance while re-encountering the charismatic leader of a single-mother’s movement going awry. Laugh-out-loud funny, visionary, and never afraid to use the F-word, Cleage uses a little magical realism to convert a crack-dominated African American neighborhood into the kind of world it should have been: a community where men are occupied with tasks, not standing around bored, where sex is a pleasure and sexism isn’t an issue, and where little girls are safe in their neighborhoods. It’s a necessarily heterosexual tale (though a gay male character gets a hero’s role toward the end), rich with Amazons both historic and contemporary. Ballantine Books/One World, $23.95. My favorite scene in Cleage’s first novel, What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day, is the bit where a thirty-something black woman is helping a young teen cut her hair way-short and saying the words that give the girl the guts to wear it proudly. $13, Avon.

British writer Anita Mason, nominated for a Booker in the U.K for The Illusionist, is a too-well kept secret in the U.S. – perhaps because her novels are always exploring political tyranny and social justice. But Spinsters Ink (that’s Spinsters Ink in its Colorado incarnation under the direction of Sharon Silvas) is out to change that by publishing an entire Anita Mason collection.

Angel, originally published as Reich Angel, began as an attempt to write a fictional treatment of the career of the German pilot Hanna Reitsch (1912-79), who was a test pilot for the Nazi Air Force. Finding Reitsch to be a totally unsympathetic character, Mason dropped the project, then later used the material to invent a fictional character – a young woman who would grapple with all of the complexities: her fierce interest in flying while coming of age during Hitler’s rise to power, her attractions to women, her disillusionment with all things military, and her own discovery and growing awareness of Hitler’s systematic killings of Jews and her own, inadvertent, compliance. An excellent and haunting – but not easy – novel that makes me want to read Mason’s other novels:
- The Racket, her only other novel with a female protagonist, is set in Brazil in the late 80s and looks at global corporate greed devouring indigenous peoples in a web of crime, corruption, temptation and terror.
- The more recent The Yellow Cathedral considers the “culture clash” between the Indians of Chiapas and the government of Mexico, where the real story is global capitalism’s craving for the oil beneath Chiapas soil, and how that greed affects the lives of real people and their reason for living.
- Perfection looks at religious fanaticism through the lens of a group of Anabaptists in sixteenth century Germany.
All $14, from Spinsters Ink. Spinsters will republish The Illusionist next Fall.

Video

BTWOF doesn’t usually cover video: but we couldn’t resist mentioning that Radical Harmonies, Dee Mosbacher’s wonderful documentary chronicling the history of women’s music, is now available at people’s prices.  It’s a wonderful look at the women who decided to make music for women – from Meg Christian to Ferron, from Linda Tillery to Tribe 8 – and how they changed the world along the way. It's the perfect flashback entertainment for New Year’s celebrations. Put it on the screen and watch the reminiscences begin. Radical Harmonies won the Best Documentary Audience Award at the 2002 San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. $39.95 VHS or DVD. Check it out at your local bookstore, www.WomanVision.org, or www.Ladyslippermusic.com, Or get your local library or video store to order it for you.

Visual

Need something beautiful in your life? Consider Women Seeing Women: A Pictorial History of Women’s Photography from Julia Margaret Cameron to Annie Leibovitz – a collection of portraits of women by women on four themes: social reality, the family, the female body, and virtual reality. Subjects range from Virginia Woolf to Hilary Clinton – as well as our good sister Anon. Compiled by German collector and publisher Lothar Schirmer with an introduction by art historian Naomi Rosenblum. 159 full-page photographs, some color, $65 cloth, Norton.

Or, for a totally different look: Red Threads, two stunning portfolios of work portraying the British Asian Queer experience – L, G, B, and T, replete with dykes in suits, naked queers in the streets, Bollywood drag queens, and garden variety dykes and fags – as seen by two cutting-edge women photographers, Poulomi Desai and Parminder Sekhon. You may recognize Sekhon’s work from Butch and  Femme and Nothing But the Girl. Plus commentary by Sunil Gupta, Raman Mundair, and Cherry Smyth. $24.95, Diva Books.

Pulps Recycle

Mainstream publishing has been rediscovering (and republishing) pulp novels from the fifties and sixties – a trend launched by lesbians and lesbian presses since early in the women’s movement: Think the Timely Books leatherette-bound reprints of the Paula Christian novels in the late seventies, the Virago’s reprints of the Dorothy Baker novels in the eighties, and Naiad’s reissue of Ann Bannon’s Beebo Brinker series and Valerie Taylor’s Erika Frohman series. As per normal, dykes are so far ahead of the times that we get no credit whatsoever.

But, of course, mainstream publishing isn’t reprinting lesbian pulps. They’re not even reprinting women’s pulps. But never mind, sisters (are still) doing it for themselves:

Cleis has republished the Beebo Brinker series with nifty retro covers. Beebo Brinker, Odd Girl Out, I Am a Woman, Women in the Shadows and, most recently, Journey to a Woman – in which Laura finds love among the lesbian bohemia of Greenwich Village – await your reading pleasure. Out Magazine describes them as, “Shameless tales of wanton dyke lust unveiled!” All feature new introductions by Ann Bannon: $12.95 each. Check out the original covers.

The Feminist Press is launching a whole series, Femmes Fatales: Women Write Pulp, to reclaim both lesbian and straight women’s writing of differently gendered perspectives, new ideas about women’s roles, and radical approaches to race and class issues. Feminist Press, of course, includes introductions and afterwards putting the novels in the context of their times and stressing their innovations and value as literature. – Now you can read pulps and feel righteous!

The Girls in 3-B (1959), a lesbian classic by Valerie Taylor, offers a wholesome tale of three small town girls moving to The Big City (Chicago). The widely read novel inspired a comic strip by the same name that ran next to Dick Tracy in many daily papers but which, golly gee, never got around to mentioning the lesbian choice made by Girl Number Three. Taylor, who was a life-long activist and organizer, pushed societal limits by writing about sex, prenuptial pregnancy, careers, class, Holocaust survivors, teen rape, incest, and (gasp!) lesbianism as a viable option (at least for the sexually victimized). $13.95.

Set in a very Empire-State-Building-like tower, Faith Baldwin’s Skyscraper (1931) marked the advent of the working-girl romance and the characters who might actually prefer a career (gasp!) to marriage. But what, I still want to know, was the godmother’s relationship with that Miss Frank with whom she lived and shared her holidays? $14.95

In a Lonely Place (1947) is classic noir: dark, dangerous, and gritty. It’s set in postwar Los Angeles and the American Dream is showing its seamy underside…. But it’s noir with a woman’s twist: author Dorothy B. Hughes dissects All-American misogyny and then lets us watch as the antihero is unmasked by two femme fatales with brains. $14.95.

The Feminist Press reports that the pulps are outselling their more “typical” titles by four to one and that, consequently, their sales are up by 75%. History should always be fun and profitable.

And meanwhile, Kensington has been reprinting Paula Christian novels as part of its lesbian fiction series. Packed two-to-a-volume, the first set, Twilight Girls, includes both The Edge of Twilight and The Other Side of Love. The just-published Another Kind of Love also includes Love Is Where You Find It. Christian’s novels were cherished for her characters’ active self-determination, their success in finding “fulfillment” (that would be fifties-speak for sex and love), and for (gasp!) happy endings. $15 each volume.

Pulps To Watch Out For
Kensington will publish the final set of Paula Christian novels in June.
The Feminist Press will publish another Dorothy B. Hughes, Blackbirder, in the Spring.
Cleis will publish Marijane Meaker (AKA Vin Packer and Ann Aldrich)’s 1952 novel Spring Fire in June.

For more on pulps and publishing, check out Meaker’s memoir, Highsmith: A Romance of the 1950s, about her relationship with Patricia Highsmith. $14.95.

With all this fiction being reprinted, surely someone could reprint a few of the pseudo-sociological non-fiction pulps: We, Too, Must Love (the first lesbian book I ever saw), We Walk Alone, and the ever so much more cheerful, Take a Lesbian to Lunch (all by “Ann Aldrich”) and that first (?) great lesbian anthology, Carol in a Thousand Cities, which featured fiction, autobiographical writings and, to make it legitimate,  gruesome articles by “psychoanalysts,” plus one, spirit-saving, essay by Simone de Beauvoir.

Read more on lesbian pulps, cover art, or check out an online exhibit at The Lesbian Herstory Archives.

Books to Make Time For

1.  Intertwined Lives: Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, and Their Circle – Lois Banner’s extensively detailed book is a mix of too-much-information and fascinating revelations, such as Mead’s belief – and stringent practice thereof – that women should have both "romantic" (i.e., sexual) friendships with women and heterosexually based families. Both Benedict and Mead were committed to free love and held their relationship to a non-possessive ideal. (Why do I think that worked better for Mead than for Benedict?) 450 pages plus notes. $30, Knopf/Random House.

2.  John D’Emilio’s American Book Award nominated Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin reclaims the gay, pacifist, civil rights leader from obscurity. Raised by a Quaker grandmother, Rustin, went to jail for refusing to serve in WW II, studied Gandhi’s use of non-violent resistance in India, taught those skills to the young Martin Luther King, and organized the 1963 March on Washington. So why isn’t Rustin a household name? Because he was an openly gay African American man in an era that criminalized homosexuality –his arrest on a “morals charge” was used to neutralize his effectiveness for decades. It’s a piece of history we all need to understand – and he’s a hero we need in our lives. Read the biography along with Time on Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin, edited by Devon Carbado and Donald Weise. Lost Prophet, $35, The Free Press; Time, $16.95, Cleis Press.

3.  Nan Boyd’s Wide Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965 looks at the political, cultural, economic, and legal contours of pre-gay/lesbian history to show us how bar customers, workers and owners fought for the right to publicly assemble and, in so doing, helped to launch a movement for LGBT civil rights. Insightful and highly readable. $27.50, University of California Press.

4.  Women have disappeared from the front pages and editorial sections of newspapers since September 11. Where did they go?
Susan Hawthorne and Bronwyn Winter found them and collected feminist responses to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the anthology, After Shock: September 11, 2001: Global Feminist Perspectives. It also includes feminist analysis of the American – and global – responses since then. It includes articles that were passed hand to hand and by email in the first days after the attacks, including Robin Morgan and Arundhati Roy’s sanity-creating essays, as well as insights from thinkers as diverse as Ani di Franco and Mary Robinson, Rigoberta Menchu Tum and Barbara Kingsolver, and women’s groups like Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, the Federation of Uganda Women, Bat Shalom and many others. $18.95 US/ $27.95 in Canada. Published in the US & Canada by Raincoast. Published in Australia by Spinifex.

5. For more thought from the always insightful Arundhati Roy, turn to her essays in War Talk, which look at the global rise in militarism, religious and racial violence, and the U.S. government’s demands for an ever-expanding war on terror and question the equation of nation and ethnicity. $12, South End Press.

6.  Working under Carol Gilligan, Stephanie Wellen Levine spent a year living in a Lubavitch community studying the lives of adolescent girls. In Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey Among Hasidic Girls she tells of her surprising findings – that these Hasidic girls seem to be more confident and to have a greater sense of self than many of their mainstream peers. She offers these insights: maturing in a single-sex environment supports the development of vibrant, expressive personalities and living in a community that believes that each person – girls included – must attend to and nurture the divine spark within them. Look for lively tales of girls who long for the lives of male scholar, and rebels who visit strip clubs, smoke pot, and dream of high-powered careers. $26.95, New York University Press.

 
What They're Reading at
Boadecia’s Books

Each issue BTWOF asks the staff at a different women’s bookstore what they’re reading and what they’re loving. This issue we asked Suzanne Corson, at Boadecia’s Books in North Berkeley, about her current favorites. Every time I walk into her store she hands me something I wouldn't have found without her.

The Way the Crow Flies is the long-awaited new novel by Ann-Marie MacDonald, author of Fall On Your Knees. This new book is a wonderfully long and engaging contemporary epic novel for the baby boomer generation, informed by such things as the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK's assassination, and the 1960’s space race. Eight-year-old Madeleine McCarthy's family is living on an air force base in Canada when one of her classmates is murdered. Each family member holds secrets which are in some way related to this event and which affect their lives for years to come, including Madeleine's career as an out lesbian comic. The Way the Crow Flies, HarperCollins, $26.95; Fall on Your Knees, Scribner, $14.

Vancouver-based author Karen X. Tulchinsky's first novel was the humorous novel Love Ruins Everything. Nomi, Henry, and other characters from that book are back in the sequel, Love and Other Ruins. With Karen's trademark funny, sexy, and heartwarming style, this story explores butch-femme dynamics, long-distance relationships, parent-child stuff, and theories about the evolution of HIV and AIDS. Press Gang/Raincoast $14.95 and $15.95.

Ayelet Waldman, the author of the Mommy Track mysteries (Death Gets a Time-Out is the latest), has a new novel, Daughter's Keeper, which is about a woman with an adult daughter who gets into some legal trouble via the man she's involved with. The book explores the complexities of setting and maintaining boundaries; the juggling of career, love relationship, and parental duties; and the simplistic cruelty of the so-called "war on drugs." Sourcebooks, $24.

Susan Choi's American Woman is the story of "a radical on the run," a Japanese American woman, who helps out a Patty Hearst-like woman involved with an SLA-type organization. Great explorations of politics vs idealism vs pragmatism. HarperCollins, $24.95.

Final Girl is Daphne Gottlieb's latest collection of poetry (see also Pelt and Why Things Burn). The title refers to the final girl left in the last scene of horror/slasher movies, and this collection explores gender in popular culture, mass media, and interpersonal relationships. Soft Skull Press, $12.

For a guilty pleasure fun read, try They Say She Tastes Like Honey by Michelle Sawyer about a 40-something party girl who is adjusting to major changes in her life, including falling in love with a younger woman. Alyson Publications, $13.95.

Next on the "to read" list is Dear First Love by Zoe Valdes (translated from the Spanish by Andrew Hurley), about a woman in Cuba who tracks down her first love. This book was nominated for the Ferro-Grumley Award. HarperCollins, $12.95.

Many thanks to Suzanne for making the time to talk books during the busy month of December. Check out Boadecia’s web site at www.boadeciasbooks.com. There's also a current list of women's bookstores at www.litwomen.org/WIP/stores.html.

The Crime Scene
By Nan Cinnater

Katherine V. Forrest may not have invented the lesbian mystery, but she is nevertheless the (grand) mother of the genre. When police detective Kate Delafield first walked the mean streets of L.A. in Amateur City in 1984, Forrest gave us a credible lesbian hero in a strongly plotted thriller, thus paving the way for everyone from Laurie R. King to Nicola Griffith. Kate Delafield is a sexy, tightly wound, complicated character who's far from perfect (deeply closeted when we first meet her, and ambivalent about her own lesbianism), but who actually grows and develops throughout the series. Alyson Press has brought the early Kate Delafield mysteries, originally published by Naiad Press, back into print. They are: Amateur City, Murder at the Nightwood Bar, Murder by Tradition, and The Beverly Malibu ($12.95 each). The rest of the series, published by Berkley/Prime Crime, includes Liberty Square, Apparition Alley and Sleeping Bones. (The first two may no longer be available from the publisher; Sleeping Bones is $13.00). If possible, read all the books in order; but if you have to choose just one, I'd go for Murder at the Nightwood Bar, an unflinching look at a brutal murder, family dysfunction, and the confines of the closet.

While at Naiad Press, Katherine V. Forrest was Claire McNab's editor, and McNab's hero, Australian Detective Inspector Carol Ashton, is a worthy successor to Kate Delafield. In her fifteenth adventure, Blood Link ($12.95, Bella Books), Ashton realizes that a series of random deaths actually follow a pattern; all the victims are distant kin to eccentric billionaire Thurmond Rule, who has died without a will.

I was disappointed to discover that the "Serenity" in Jacqueline Wallen's debut mystery, A Sudden Loss of Serenity ($12.95, New Victoria), was the name of a character. Nevertheless, I was totally engaged by this slice of bohemian life in the Maryland suburbs. Claire Winston is a bisexual single mom with a bi-racial daughter, who is missing. Claire's friends are the kind of middle-aged women who throw themselves "cronings" instead of fiftieth birthday parties. The inventive but credible plot involves Buddhism, graffiti tagging, teenage pregnancy, and the friends of Bill W. What's not to like?

Personally, I've never been a fan of what are known in the trade as woo-woo plot elements (occult or supernatural forces). However, if a family heirloom passed down through women – a mysterious and powerful amulet called "la voleur d'ames" (the thief of souls), sought by everyone from hit men to Hitler – sounds intriguing to you, you'll probably love Epitaph for an Angel by Lauren Maddison ($14.95, Alyson). This is the fourth in the popular series about crime writer Connor Hawthorne and her partner Laura Nez. The previous three are Deceptions ($13.95), Witchfire ($13.95) and Death by Prophecy ($14.95), all published by Alyson. A strong cast of supporting characters, including Connor's father, a former CIA agent, and Connor's dead grandmother (yes, more woo-woo) give Connor plenty of help in her struggle against evil.

When did Brits get to be so hip? A premiere example of cool Britannia is the Saz Martin mystery series by Stella Duffy. Saz, a London-based lesbian private eye, is constantly jetting off to the States or the continent or New Zealand to investigate a case, and her cases often involve more than their share of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. This is cutting-edge crime fiction with a nicely satirical touch. The Saz Martin mysteries, Calendar Girl, WaveWalker, Beneath the Blonde (each $12.00) and Fresh Flesh ($13.00), are all published in the U.S by Serpent's Tail.

On the even lighter side, there's Damn Straight by Elizabeth Sims ($13.95, Alyson), the sequel to Holy Hell ($13.95, Alyson). Lillian Byrd is a somewhat klutzy sleuth who can't seem to stay out of trouble. In Palm Springs the weekend of the Dinah Shore golf tournament, Lillian literally bumps into a top LPGA star who is being terrorized by a stalker.

Perennially cranky private eye V.I. Warshawski has a really good reason to kvetch in Blacklist by Sara Paretsky ($24.95, Putnam). In V.I.'s latest case, Paretsky ties together the Communist witch-hunts of the Fifties with Patriot Act incursions on civil liberties today. Although V.I. is not a lesbian, she is the kind of tough, independent (bordering on prickly) feminist that we love, and she packs a strong political punch here.

Another non-lesbian sleuth, Aimée Leduc, is very much the V.I. Warshawski of Paris, right down to the little black silk dress which is continually ravaged by her adventures in the sewers, rooftops, etc., of the City of Lights. Aimée debuted in Murder in the Marais by American-in-Paris Cara Black, followed by Murder in Belleville, Murder in the Sentier (all $13.00, Soho Press), and Murder in the Bastille ($23.00, Soho Press). About Black's latest paperback, Murder in the Sentier, Marilyn Stasio wrote in The New York Times Book Review: "Summoning up the air of breathless adventure that always attends her action-filled narratives, [Black] dispatches her fashionably punk sleuth to the racy Second Arrondissement. . . . [T]he story provides a street map to this idiosyncratic area, home to transvestites, tattoo artists, fashionistas and scholars at the Bibliothèque Nationale."

African American author Charlotte Carter writes subtly subversive, jazz-inspired (but, alas, not lesbian) mysteries. In addition to her sassy series about sax player Nannette Hayes (Rhode Island Red, Coq au Vin, Drumstick, and Walking Bones, all available from Serpents Tail), we now have the non-series novel Jackson Park (One World/Ballantine, $12.95), a deeply noir story of interracial romance and murder. By contrast, Paula L. Woods writes traditional but beautifully realized police procedurals featuring L.A. police detective Charlotte Justice. Inner City Blues ($6.99, Fawcett), Stormy Weather ($6.99, One World/Ballantine), and Dirty Laundry ($23.95, One World/Random House) all use real events in L.A. to explore African American history, racial dynamics and sexual discrimination.


Bookstore News

Congratulations to the Toronto Women’s Bookstore and Giovanni’s Room (Philadelphia), both of whom are celebrating their 30th anniversaries. And thanks to Mary Ellen Kavanaugh for 15 wonderful years of My Sisters’ Words Bookstore (Syracuse), which closed in November.

Awards

Congratulations to Rochelle Hollander Schwab, winner of the Lambda Literary Foundation’s first Self-Published Award for her novel, Departure From the Script. It’s the story of a nice Jewish mother who’s a bit startled to discover that her daughter’s intended is a woman, but who still, with the help of her support group, plans a blow-out of a wedding – and then begins to notice how attractive women can be…. $14.95, Orlando Place Press.

Where are you reading BTWOF?
How did you hear about it?

Email travels so easily: I’d been planning to run a contest for the most distant or most outrageous location where anyone was reading BTWOF when I got an email from Lucy Jane Bledsoe – in Antarctica – saying she’d read the last issue there. So she gets the prize for last month! (How many publications have readers in Antarctica?!)

But, having won already, she’s disqualified for the next year, and the contest is on again. One year’s free subscription to BTWOF (or a gift subscription for anyone you choose), to the reader in the most outrageous or most distant-from-San Francisco location OR to the best, and most convoluted story of how you heard about BTWOF. Send to Editor. Our esteemed panel of judges is eager to hear from you.

Writing Wanted

Sinister Wisdom is publishing again. They’re looking for contributions for a special issue - “exploring our passion for words, the magic of language, and the power of lesbian literature to shape the world. Deadline is January 1. Send a SASE for details and updated deadlines: SW c/o Fran Day, PO Box 1180, Sebastopol CA 95473.

(c) 2003 Books to Watch Out For
Graphics © Judy Horacek