A number of paperbacks are termed "pulp," or sometimes "sleeze" since they were printed on cheap paper, and since many of them were noted for their racy covers.
Although the title of this book is Queer Pulp, it actually has nothing to do with pulp magazines. It is about the various paperbacks made of cheap paper and issued around the fifties and sixties.
It also uses a somewhat different definition of queer, not limiting the world to gays, lesbians, etc, but defining queer as basically anything sexual other than the standard heterosexual missionary position. The book notes that that was the basic definition in the time period of the paperbacks.
The book is filled with color reproductions of paperback covers, and notes with almost all photos. It covers gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender paperbacks and also discusses some "factual" paperbacks that were turned out. It's a very, very interesting book.
If you are going to do a book about covers of something, this is basically the way to do it. The book has a regular introduction and a foreword. Each section of the book has its own short intro. There are numerous photos of pulp covers of lesbian novels, and each one of these has some information added underneath the photo.
All of these together make this a very excellent reference source. The photos are also large enough to be easily viewable, another positive point in the books favor. Overall a must resource for anyone interested in lesbian-related writing during the time period of 1949 through 1969.
The Short Cut (1950)
"When the bored young officer finally discovered why the innocent native girl had resisted his love-making, it was too late to escape the horror which he had taken into his arms."
City of Women (1952)
"The women were behind barbed wire because there were only a few hundred of them and thousands of soldiers on tehir last leave."
"It was wartime Hawaii and the men would settle for any kind of woman-a tall one, a short one, even an indifferent one."
"They called the women's barracks Passion City and the barbed wire couldn't keep the soldiers out or the women in."
Spring Fire (1952)
"There was a girl called Mitch who desperately wanted to be loved."
"There was a girl named Leda who was queen of the campus."
"Suddenly-they belonged to each other."
Odd Girl Out (1957)
"Beth was there when Laura arrived..."
"She was the brain, the sparkle, the gay rebel voice and, wonder of wonders, she chose Laura as her roomate."
"That was the way it began, the one up there at the pinnacle and the other, the lonely one, longing always to draw nearer and nearer."
"Suddenly, the distance between them closed."
I Am A Woman
(Original, copyright 1959. This is a 2002 reprint, but with a different cover.)
This is a 1950's lesbian pulp fiction work from Ann Bannon, and includes an introduction, written in 2001.
It's a marvelous book about love. Laura is twenty, and has fled from life with her father to move to New York. Her father was abusive, both physically and verbally to her. She had also had a love affair with a girl, Beth, but the girl ended up getting married to a man.
In New York, Laura moves into a place and becomes the roommate of a woman named Marcie who has an ex-husband that she still argues with and has sex with. Laura gets a secretarial job at a doctor's office, and later befriends a gay man named Jack.
Burr is the typical macho male in his attitudes. When referring to women who like women, he says that "All those gals need is a real man. That'd put them on the right track in a hurry."" An attitude still prevalent in today's world, almost fifty years later.
A lot of the story is along the lines of Laura coming to realize that she really is a lesbian. Her gay friend, Jack, tells her she's gay, but it's quite a while before she really understands and believes that.
So Laura really loves Marcie, but Marcie's straight. Another lesbian woman, Beebo, ends up in love with Laura but Laura's not in love with her. Laura finally confronts her father, who happens to be in New York for a convention, but things go very, very badly, and soon Jack and Beebo are searching for a disappeared Laura, worried that she might have killed herself.
The book works well in various ways. It's a really neat love story. it's a really neat story about how people can understand and help other people. There are some very erotic passages that do not depend on the use of genital-specific terminology that seem to dominate current-day erotic stories.
It's a very gentle book in that way.
This is really a good book (unless you're a person who hates gays and lesbians, of course), and I intend to get other of Ann Bannon's books and review them, also.
"She sold her body to any man who had the price...and this is her story, the personal details of her life-the money she made, the tricks of the trade, her many and varied clients-a story of fear, depravity and terror, a true story."
"But there is more. The dreadful loneliness of a prostitute, who passes her non-working evening hours in dark, dirty basement clubs, the long soidary days in squalid if expensive lodgings, and the resultant yearning for the companionship of a friendly male which so often ends, without cynicism, in taking on a 'pimp.'"
"It is a story told with remarkable candor, considerable literary skill and complete honesty."
Women in the Shadows (1959)
"A guarded look across the room."
"That was all she dared to do, and this was Greenwich Village where almost anything goes.."
"She had learned long ago she could never love a man-that only another woman could excite her."
"And Laura found the strange sloe-eyed girl exciting."
Strange Breed (1960)
"A touching story of that breed of women who receive from each other what they cannot receive from men."
A Lesson in Love (1960)
"At night Nicola had had Tammy's golden head cradled in the hollow of her shoulder, and a soft little hand that rested sweetly, now on her breast, now on her thigh. She could not sleep, but law awake, remembering the exquisite sensation of Tammy's hands running lightly, teasingly, over her body. Tammy's soft warm mouth on hers..."
"It was lovely to have Tammy asleep all night in her arms, even though she had felt strangely restless, as if something she had wanted and almost got had been snatched away from her."
Journey to a Woman (1960)
"Would she throw away her entire life on the one wild chance that she might find the lost woman out of her past?
"It began all over again with the suddenly startling dream of Laura. Now Beth was amazed to find herself streaking back into the past."
Beebo Brinker (1962)
(This was originally published in 1962, but the one here is a modern reprint with a different cover.)
This is one of a series of books Ann Bannon did on the theme of lesbian love. Beebo Brinker was a major character in various of the books. Bannon's writing style is more based on feelings, with not a lot of very overt sexual activity.
Main Pulp Index