Cleis Press, March 2015; ISBN-10: 1627781226
Designated the “queen of lesbian pulp fiction” for authoring five landmark novels, Ann Bannon’s work defined lesbian fiction for the pre-Stonewall generation. Unlike many writers of the period, however, Bannon broke through the shame and isolation typically portrayed in lesbian pulps, offering instead women characters who embrace their sexuality against great odds.
With Beebo Brinker, Bannon introduces the title character, a butch 17-year-old farm girl newly arrived in New York after she is driven from her Wisconsin home town for wearing drag to the State Fair. Befriended by the gay Jack Mann, a father figure with a weakness for runaways, Beebo sets out to find love. She never knew what she wanted — until she came to Greenwich Village and found the love that smolders in the shadows of the twilight world.
Overwhelmed with her discovery, Beebo is infatuated in turn with the vixen Mona Petry, the sweet femme Paula Ash, and the famous actress Venus Bogardus. Sexy, dangerous, and often touching, Beebo Brinker’s search for love takes her from password-protected 1950s lesbian bars to the glamour and ritz of Hollywood and back. Chronicling the reality of 1950s lesbian life, Beebo Brinker is an astounding and engaging read.