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Bertha Harris
Copyright Date: 1993
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 294
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    A landmark work of lesbian literature, Lover was first published in 1972 by the now-defunct feminist press, Daughters, to tremendous critical acclaim. Emerging out of the women's and gay liberation movement alongside the early work of such writers as Rita Mae Brown and Jill Johnston, the novel features fictional and historical characters who run the gamut from saint to poor white trash, and who are by turn vulnerable and strong. One of the finest examples of early post-Stonewall lesbian fiction, Lover is poised to entice a new generation of readers. In this new edition, Harris reintroduces her work, providing engaging background on the cultural and personal milieu in which it was produced and painting a scathing and witty picture of the book's original publisher. Revealing the real-life personalities behind some of the novel's characters, the introduction is an amusing retrospective sure to entertain those who remember the heady post-Stonewall days, and to enlighten younger readers.

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-7313-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xvi)
    Karla Jay

    Despite the efforts of lesbian and feminist publishing houses and a few university presses, the bulk of the most important lesbian works has traditionally been available only from rare-book dealers, in a few university libraries, or in gay and lesbian archives. This series intends, in the first place, to make representative examples of this neglected and insufficiently known literature available to a broader audience by reissuing selected classics and by putting into print for the first time lesbian novels, diaries, letters, and memoirs that are of special interest and significance, but which have moldered in libraries and private collections for...

  4. Introduction
    (pp. xvii-lxxx)
    Bertha Harris

    I grew up in an excessively hick town in the South where there was never anything to do, so when a big-time polio epidemic hit one summer there was suddenly even less to do than nothing. I was kept confined to the house and yard.

    This happened before television. My family didn’t own any books. I spent a couple of days outside trying to dig a swimming pool of my own with a teaspoon. Then I went inside and switched on the radio. The radio was encased in green Bakelite, its dial was hot orange with black numbers. It was...

  5. Lover
    (pp. 1-215)

    The lights go down, the curtain opens: the first thing we see is the Marschallin von Werdenberg (played by a middleaged woman) in bed with Octavian (played by a very young woman). Their passionate declarations of love are disturbed by sounds of footsteps which the lovers fear belong to the Marschallin’s husband. Octavian hides and dresses up like a girl, a lady’s maid. But it wasn’t the husband. It was a dirty old man, Baron Ochs, who, without bothering to knock, enters the bedroom to demand help in his courtship of lovely young Sophia Faninal (a young woman played by...

  6. Back Matter
    (pp. 216-217)