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Novel Approaches to Lesbian History

palgrave macmillan

Novel Approaches to Lesbian History tells a tale about history and community in our allegedly post-identity era, examining contemporary novels that depict lesbian characters in recognizable historical situations. These imaginative stories provide a politically vital, speculative past in the face of a sketchy, problematic archive. Among the memorable characters in some 200 novels are pirates, cowgirls, and famous artists, ghosts and time travellers, immigrants and lovers. The best lesbian historical novels are conscientious and buoyant as they engage critical historiographical questions, but Novel Approaches also discusses the class and race biases that weigh on the genre. Some lesbian historical novels are based on archival evidence, others on conjecture or fantasy, but all convey the true fact that identity is elusive without a past, without which its future is nearly impossible.