Dyke Life by Karla Jay
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Dyke Life
By Karla Jay

Dyke Life

From Growing Up to Growing Old, a Celebration of the Lesbian Experience

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Format: Paperback

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Dyke Life by Karla Jay

Book Description

Written by lesbians of different ages, races and religions--and compiled by one of the gay movement's best-known writers and activists--these original essays give vibrant voice to the diversity of the lesbian experience. Celebrating the many ways in which the lesbian experience is unique from all others, many of these pieces focus on specific lesbian concerns such as sexual practices, raising children and higher incidence of certain illnesses.Beyond pointing out these differences, the essays also provide a comprehensive view of the many phases of lesbian life by covering diverse topics like body piercing, coming out and work. Short narratives--"To Mother or Not to Mother," "Confessions of a Lesbian Vampire," "About Being an Old Lesbian in Love," and more--complement and enrich the main essays, adding a unique personal tone to the collection. A mix of the serious and the irreverent, Dyke Life is an important contribution to gay and lesbian literature.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780465039081
ISBN-10: 0465039081
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 156mm x 24mm)
Pages: 384
Imprint: Basic Books
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 10-May-1996
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Karla Jay

Tales of the Lavender Menace by Karla Jay Tales of the Lavender Menace, Paperback (February 2000)

Karla Jay's memoir of an age whose tumultuous social and political movements fundamentally reshaped American culture takes readers from her early days in the 1968 Columbia University student riots to her involvement in radical women's groups and the New York Gay Liberation Front.

Lavender Culture by Karla Jay Lavender Culture, Paperback (October 1994)

The reissue of this anthology serves as a provocative and wide-ranging reminder of American gay and lesbian culture in the days before gay life became "chic". It demonstrates the influence of gays and lesbians on language, literature, theatre, poetry, dance, music and the arts.

» View all books by Karla Jay


US Kirkus Review » Although loosely organized, this collection of writings on lesbian life is striking in its intellectual and experiential diversity. Jay (English and Women's Studies/Pace Univ.) offers a window into a wide range of lesbian experiences and, more important, some analyses not often heard. Essays explore lesbian relationships to families of origin, sex, gendered roles, parenting, health issues, midlife, marriage, aging, race, and the ethics of outing. Two complex and well-argued entries call for more flexible thinking about butch/femme roles, while a charming and equally convincing essay by Leslea Newman celebrates her traditional butch/femme relationship. Marcia Munson brings some much-needed common sense to the fervor over lesbian safer sex: "Always fasten your seat belt while driving to or from a sexual encounter," she advises. "You're far more likely to die in a car crash than from an STD you might get from a woman." Marny Hall explores the role of the imagination in lesbian sex lives - and ends up fantasizing about one of the women she interviewed for the chapter. In "Black Lace Hairbow," Greta Gaard articulately reflects on the way getting involved with a man complicated her femme lesbian identity. Short sidebars scattered throughout are among the liveliest pieces in the collection: E.J. Graft's on her commitment ceremony; Amanda Kovattana's on life as a "lesbian vampire" - a seducer of straight women; and a piece by novelist Mary Meigs on romance in her old age. Unfortunately, the schema is haphazard, and it is often unclear why a particular essay falls under a given theme: Why, for instance, are articles about lesbian youth, baby boomers, and aging lumped under the heading "Relating to Others"? The essays themselves, however, are both entertaining and thoughtful. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Karla Jay

Karla Jay is Professor of English and Director of Women's Studies at Pace Unviersity. She has authored and edited eight books, including the pioneering Out of the Closets (with Allen Young), and has written for many publications, including the New York Times Book Review, Ms. magazine, New York Newsday, and the Village Voice.

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