Lesbian Lives by Nicky Hallett

cover of the book Lesbian LivesLesbian Lives by Nicky Hallett
Genre: Biography; Literary Criticism
Copyright Year:
Published: 1999
Publisher: PLUTO PRESS
Format: Trade Paperback
No. of Pages: 268
No. In Series:
ISBN: 9780745311319
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How does the ‘factual’ shape our sense of sexuality and self? How far have representations of lesbianism actually moved from the pathology and deviancy of the 1920s and 1930s to the lesbian chic of the 1990s? How do contemporary ideas of autobiography intersect with a sense of sexualised self? And to what degree is the notion of a specific lesbian identity complicated by the contradictions of identity politics and the heterosexism of critical language? In this fascinating literary study, Nicky Hallett addresses these questions by examining cultural representations of lesbianism and the personal testimony of individuals, including Virginia Woolf, Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein, Vita Sackville-West and Radclyffe Hall, and other, less familiar, figures. She considers lesbian representation within the broader context of gender, sexuality, race and the construction of identity in a postmodern culture, and questions ideas of the coded, the indirect and the hidden of the 1920s and of the ‘out’ of the queer 1990s. Building on the numerous studies of lesbianism in fiction and popular culture, Nicky Hallett explores the construction of lesbian identities in popular and critical biographies, autobiographies and diaries, as well as newspaper stories, interviews, obituaries, photographs and reviews. Lesbian Lives extends the boundaries of enquiry with an investigation into the ways in which lesbians represent themselves and are represented by others in the so-called ‘factual modes’ of non-fiction.
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