The Muted Lesbian Voice – Bibliography

The Muted Lesbian Voice: coming out of camouflage

© Nicki Hastie


Primary Sources

Second date cited refers to original year of publication.

Barnes, Djuna
Nightwood (New York: New Directions, 1961 (1937))
Bowen, Elizabeth
The Little Girls (Middlesex: Penguin, 1982 (1964))
Brown, Rita Mae
Rubyfruit Jungle (London: Corgi, 1973)
Cather, Willa
“The Novel Demeuble” in Not Under Forty (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1964 (1936))
Dane, Clemence
Regiment of Women (London: Heinemann, 1936 (1917))
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins
Herland (London: The Women’s Press, 1979 (1915))
Hall, Radclyffe
The Unlit Lamp (London: Virago, 1981 (1924))
Hall, Radclyffe
The Well of Loneliness (London: Virago, 1982 (1928))
Hellman, Lillian
“The Children’s Hour” in The Collected Plays (London: Macmillan, 1972)
Larsen, Nella
Passing in Quicksand and Passing (London: Serpent’s Tail, 1989 (1929))
Lorde, Audre
Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (Watertown, MA: Persephone Press, 1982)
Lowell, Amy
The Complete Poetical Works (Cambridge: The Riverside Press, 1955)
Manning, Rosemary
The Chinese Garden (London: Brilliance Books, 1984 (1962))
Manning, Rosemary
A Time and A Time (London: Calder and Boyars, 1982 (1971))
March, Caiea
The Hide and Seek Files (London: The Women’s Press, 1988)
McEwan, Christian
Naming the Waves: Contemporary Lesbian Poetry (London: Virago, 1988)
Miller, Isabel
Patience and Sarah (London: The Women’s Press, 1979 (1969))
Olivia (London: The Hogarth Press, 1981 (1949))
Rossetti, Christina
The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti (London: Macmillan, 1908)
Stein, Gertrude
Three Lives (New York: The Modern Library, 1933 (1909))
Stein, Gertrude
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (Stockholm: The Continental Book Company, 1947 (1933))
Stein, Gertrude
Fernhurst, Q.E.D. and Other Early Writings (London: Peter Owen, 1972)
Walker, Alice
The Color Purple (London: The Women’s Press, 1983 (1982))
Warner, Sylvia Townsend
Lolly Willowes (London: The Women’s Press, 1978 (1926))
Wittig, Monique
The Lesbian Body (New York: Avon Books, 1975 (Le Corps Lesbien, 1973))
Woolf, Virginia
Mrs Dalloway (London: Grafton, 1976 (1925))
Woolf, Virginia
Orlando (London: Grafton, 1977 (1928))

Secondary Sources

Austin, Allan E.
Elizabeth Bowen (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1971)
Burke, Carolyn
“Gertrude Stein, the Cone Sisters and the Puzzle of Female Friendship”
in Writing and Sexual Difference ed. Elizabeth Abel (Brighton: The Harvester Press, 1982)
Christian, Barbara
Black Feminist Criticism: Perspectives on Black Women Writers (New York: Pergamon Press, 1985)
Cook, Blanche Wiesen
“Women Alone Stir My Imagination: Lesbianism and the Cultural Tradition” Signs 4, no.4
(Summer 1979): 718-39
Daly, Mary
Gyn/ecology: the metaethics of radical feminism (London: The Women’s Press, 1979)
Dickson, Lovat
Radclyffe Hall at The Well of Loneliness: A Sapphic Chronicle (London: Collins, 1975
Dollimore, Jonathan
“The Dominant and the Deviant: A Violent Dialectic” Critical Quarterly 28 (Spring-Summer 1986): 179-92
Ellmann, Richard
Oscar Wilde (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1987)
Faderman, Lillian
Scotch Verdict (New York: Quill, 1983)
Faderman, Lillian
Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship and Love Between Women from the Renaissance
to the Present
(London: The Women’s Press, 1985)
Fassler, Barbara
“Theories of Homosexuality as Sources of Bloomsbury’s Androgyny” Signs 5 (Winter 1979): 237-51
Gilbert, Sandra M.
“Costumes of the Mind: Transvestism as Metaphor in Modern Literature” in Writing and
Sexual Difference
ed. Elizabeth Abel (Brighton: The Harvester Press, 1982)
Hart, John & Richardson, Diane (eds.)
The Theory and Practice of Homosexuality (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1981)
Henke, Suzette A.
Mrs Dalloway: the Communion of Saints” in New Feminist Essays on Virginia Woolf
ed. Jane Marcus (London: Macmillan, 1981)
Humm, Maggie
Feminist Criticism (Brighton: The Harvester Press, 1986)
Kennard, Jean E.
“Ourself Behind Ourself: a Theory for Lesbian Readers” Signs 9, no.4 (Summer
1984): 647-62
Leaska, Mitchell
The Novels of Virginia Woolf from Beginning to End (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1977)
Love, Jean O.
Worlds in Consciousness: Mythopoetic Thought in the Novels of Virginia Woolf (Berkley:
University of California Press, 1970)
Love, Jean O.
Orlando and its Genesis: Venturing and Experimenting in Art, Love and Sex”
in Virginia Woolf: Revolution and Continuity ed. Ralph Freedman (Berkley: University of California Press, 1980)
Majunder, Robin & McLaurin, Allen (eds.)
Virginia Woolf: The Critical Heritage (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1975)
Marder, Herbert
Feminism and Art: A Study of Virginia Woolf (London: University of Chicago Press, 1968)
Michel, Frann
“Displacing Castration: Nightwood, Ladies Almanack and Feminine Writing”
Contemporary Literature 30 (Spring 1989): 33-58
Newton, Esther
“The Mythic Mannish Lesbian: Radclyffe Hall and the New Woman” Signs 9 (Summer 1984): 557-75
O’Brien, Sharon
Willa Cather: The Emerging Voice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987)
Rich, Adrienne
“Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” in Blood, Bread and Poetry: Selected Prose 1979-1985 (London: Virago, 1986)
Rosenblum, Dolores
“Christina Rossetti: The Inward Pose” in Shakespeare’s Sisters: Feminist Essays on Women Poets
ed. Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar (Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1979)
Rule, Jane
Lesbian Images (Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press, 1975)
Stimpson, Catharine R.
“The Mind, the Body and Gertrude Stein” Critical Inquiry 3 (Spring 1977): 489-506
Stimpson, Catharine R.
“Zero Degree Deviancy: the Lesbian Novel in English” in Writing and Sexual Difference
ed. Elizabeth Abel (Brighton: The Harvester Press, 1982)
Vicinus, Martha
“Distance and Desire: English Boarding-School Friendships” Signs 9 (Summer 1984): 601-22
Weeks, Jeffrey
Coming Out: Homosexual Politics in Britain from the Nineteenth Century to the Present
(London: Quartet, 1977)
Weeks, Jeffrey
Sexuality and its Discontents: Meanings, Myths and Modern Sexualities (London: Routledge &
Kegan Paul, 1985)
Weeks, Jeffrey
Sex, Politics and Society: The Regulation of Sexuality Since 1800 (London: Longman,
2nd ed., 1989)
Zimmerman, Bonnie
“Exiting From patriarchy: The Lesbian Novel of Development” in The Voyage
In: Fictions of Female Development
eds. Elizabeth Abel, Marianne Hirsch & Elizabeth Langland
(Hanover: University Press of New England, 1983)
Zimmerman, Bonnie
“What Has Never Been: An Overview of Lesbian Feminist Criticism” in The New Feminist
ed. Elaine Showalter (London: Virago, 1986)



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Recent Posts

What does your love look like?

We stand with Orlando ribbonSo here I am – driven to leave my quiet-ish hiding place (of late) and send some comments out into the world. It’s hard to have anything new or powerful enough to say about the atrocity in Orlando, FL, USA this weekend, but I must register my voice of grief, outrage, solidarity and connection with LGBT+ communities and allies everywhere. My thoughts are with all those who have been affected directly through the loss and injury of loved ones, and through the weight of being witness.

Some facts are clear. A heavily-armed man murdered 49 people and wounded 53 others at the LGBT+ Pulse nightclub. This was an act of hatred and homophobia (also biphobia and transphobia), and the majority of those targeted were people of colour during a Latina/Latino/Latinx night. All believed themselves to be in a safe place of celebration during a month of worldwide Pride events.

Here are some other commentaries which say far more than I can:

Latinx LGBTQ community response from Isa Noyola interviewed on Democracy Now (warning – this video contains a shameful clip of Donald Trump taking advantage of the massacre to spread anti-Muslim hate speech).

Orlando is just the tip of the iceberg – a powerful article by Jane Czyzselska, editor of UK Diva Magazine for lesbian and bi women.

Statement from the British Psychological Society recognising that members of LGBT+ communities experience high levels of abuse, discrimination and psychological distress.

I’m sad and angry and confused. It seems to have been a default position of mine recently. But at least these emotions make sense in these circumstances, even if I will never be able to understand how someone can plan and carry out such an attack. I am unable to understand any crimes of hate, whoever is being abused and killed. I have empathy beyond the communities I specifically identify with. It’s important I say this because some despicable individuals are already using the Orlando shooting to encourage different marginalised communities to turn against each other. We must not let that happen.

News sites are reporting (surmising) today that Omar Mateen was most likely gay himself and therefore chose to kill people in a LGBTQ venue due to intense self-loathing. As if this somehow stops the attack being an act of homophobia! As if it’s suddenly explained and means all others in wider society need take no further responsibility and can file it in a tidy box which requires minimal scrutiny: Oh, that’s alright, then – it was just one queer of a certain faith we can’t be bothered to understand killing a load of other queers we can’t be bothered to understand. They only have themselves to blame!

Don’t you see? No person starts out hating themselves or others. It comes from years of indoctrination and prejudice, where instead of  being embraced and celebrated, difference and diversity are viewed as the enemy. When you think of love, what do you see? Who do you include?

On Sunday 12 June, I posted this on Facebook:

Fuck! Why do some of us care? And the rest are intent on destroying the whole world. You don’t have to understand me to not want to kill me. I’ve spent my whole life trying to hurt no-one but myself. I shouldn’t even want to hurt myself. If there was more empathy for diversity, far more of us may survive.

All of my Facebook friends are trying to comfort each other right now.

I understand something about self-hatred. I really do. The agonising attempt to explain to yourself why recognising you’re different from a so-called ‘norm’, and regularly being misunderstood, can make you feel as if there is something fundamentally wrong with your whole being. That your very self is the problem. It’s sad enough when that personal inner struggle only destroys the individual experiencing it. But where does the destruction end when fear and hate is routinely justified? No-one decides to hate. It is taught and it is validated by legislation. The Orlando massacre comes after lawmakers in the US filed more than 200 anti-LGBT Bills.

This fear of difference goes way beyond sexuality. I have experienced this feeling of self-doubt, self-sabotage and insecurity around my mental health. Some of my close friends will know of a new journey of self-exploration I’m just embarking on. It’s not the time to talk about that but, ultimately, this will be positive for me, and I will write about it when I’m ready.

Actually, I’m not sure I have ever *hated* myself for being a lesbian. I just feel as if I’ve been bruised and punished a lot, and that is why the poem below refers to “being a lesbian / would be one / prompt apology.” I am who I am. I’m proud of that. I have not, do not, and I never will apologise. But I have always had to be ready to defend myself which can sometimes amount to the same thing.

It’s another blackout poem, taking words from an interview with author Emma Donoghue which appeared in the Observer Magazine on 8 May 2016. It makes a lot of sense to me, but I wish it didn’t mean so much. I wish I didn’t have to write about being sad, confused and fearful.

It was two weeks ago when I chose to highlight these words and create a new personal commentary. It doesn’t help much with understanding the atrocity in Orlando. But in light of the terribly sad events, perhaps I can ask you to read between the lines to find another space which invites connection, remembers to begin with love, and doesn’t have to end on hate.

Newspaper blackout poem from interview with Emma Donoghue

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