I Am a Woman: Sappho and Ann Bannon

The woman who seemed to start it all remains a mystery but here are some Sappho links of interest in anticipation of book club:

1) For Sappho’s Leap by Erica Jong

Reviews:

USA Today

The Guardian (check out thatUK cover!)

New York Times

Bookreporter.com

Baltimore Sun (how could I not include a review with “lust” in the headline?)

Resources:

Lots of great material and links here from Bill Moyers’s interview with Jong about the book on PBS.

2) Sappho in general

A site with several good external links here

Speaking of links, I’ve been adding to the list of resources and blogs of interest (lesbrary rocks) so check them out. More to come! And do let me know of any you think I should include.

I love Ann Bannon! I met her for the first time earlier this week at the Violet Mirror panel at B&N and she is a delight. And thoughtful and insightful on the subject of lesbian pulps and gay publishing. Moderator Erin McHugh called her the godmother of us all and I won’t disagree. I’ve only read one novel, Beebo Brinker,  in the series of novels Bannon wrote and which came to be known as the Beebo Brinker Chronicles but I thoroughly enjoyed it as a good page-turner, a slice of lesbian history, and a social history of lesbian life in NYC like Highsmith’s The Price of Salt and Meaker’s Highsmith: A Love Story (both of which we’ve read for book club).

My favorite Ann Bannon cover…Anyway, for more pulps, check out the Feminist Press Femmes Fatales series, especially the classic, Women’s Barracks by Torres.

For some high art, Queer/Art/Film has announced its next showing:

Emily Roysdon presents JOHANNA D’ARC OF MONGOLIA

Monday, May 23 at 8pm IFC Center (323 6th AveatW.3rd St.)

“For May’s Queer/Art/Film, artist and provocateur Emily Roysdon will present a rare film screening of the German visionary filmmaker Ulrike Ottinger’s boldly original epic, JOHANNA D’ARC OF MONGOLIA.  Starring the masterful French actress Delphine Seyrig in her final screen role, the film is about a group of cosmopolitan women passengers aboard the Trans-Siberian/Mongolian Railway who are taken prisoner by Ulan Iga, a warrior princess. This uncompromising film greatly influenced Roysdon in her own brave and original work. She writes, “Ottinger re-imagines the impossible. Her characters, their lives and their environs, are beyond counter-culture. They make new worlds.” Come join us on this incredible, strange, and rarely seen journey!”

A French actress playing a warrior princess? Sign me up. Tickets can be purchased in advance here. Get’em while they last!

Finally, my bravery in action award for the month goes to everyone involved in the publication of and the readers of Queer Malawi, a collection of 12 personal stories by gay, lesbian and transgender men and women on their experience collected by Malawi’s Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP) and South Africa’s Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA).

In Malawi, you can get years in prison with hard labor for being gay. And lesbians have other unique challenges as well: “‘Lesbian women find it hard to stand together, because we do not have any resources or an organization that represents us,’ wrote Takia. ‘There is one organization that does education for gays – they only support men loving men.’”

I couldn’t find a US distributor with the book yet but I’ll be on the lookout. Maybe it’ll be my Pride Month Challenge (because my Lambda one is going so well!).

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