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5 lesbian novels that made an impact on young women

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5 Lesbian Novels that made an impact on young women

5 lesbian novels that made an impact on young women

There are books that when you pick up and start reading them, by the end of these books—you’re not the same person anymore. That’s what great literature does: it create an impact that changes you as a person. So what more with lesbian novels that made you realize who you are?

For those young women who were unfortunate enough not to live in an era where they could safely come out, some found refuge in lesbian novels that would touch them to their core.

Here are five lesbian novels that made an impact on their lives:

Rubyfruit Jungle Rita Mae Brown Lesbian Novels

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
Ask anyone between 40- to 60-years old, and four out of ten will tell you that this 1973 classic novel is the story of their life. It’s funny, it’s irreverent, and it will describe exactly how it is to be a lesbian. It’s a coming-of-age story based on Rita Mae Brown’s own life. How irreverent is it? Here’s a clue: “rubyfruit jungle” refers to the female organ.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe Fannie Flagg lesbian novels

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
The movie is not the same as the book. While the movie focused on friendship, in the book—set in the 1920s—Idgie and Ruth lived openly like husband and wife. I’m sure we’ve all had aunts who were exactly like them.

The Color Purple Alice Walker lesbian novels

The Color Purple by Alice Walker
There’s really more artistic freedom in literature. In the Color Purple movie there’s just one scene indicative of lesbianism. But in the book, Celie, the protagonist, is a woman-loving woman. Fourteen when the book begins, Celie is a poor, black, uneducated young woman who writes letters to God. Raped by her father when she was younger, she later finds herself attracted to women. Colourful is an apt description.

The Price of Salt Patricia Highsmith lesbian novels

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
Patricia Highsmith, author of the suspenseful The Talented Mr. Ripley, wrote this particular romance novel. When she first published it in 1952, she had to use the pseudonym Claire Morgan because of its lesbian angle of two lonely women finding love with each other.

The Well of Loneliness Radclyffe Hall lesbian novels

The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall
You’re not a lesbian purist if you haven’t read this as it’s not exactly an easy read. As the title states, it’s quite sad. Set in the Victorian era, Stephen, the protagonist, pushes the love of her life away to a man because Stephen thinks she can never make her happy.

Like any great work of literature, these lesbian novels were a lifeline for women recognizing—and accepting—who they were. So, what good lesbian novels have you read that changed your world?

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