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Book reviews for "Faderman,_Lillian" sorted by average review score:

Naked in the Promised Land: A Memoir
Published in Hardcover by Houghton Mifflin Co (February, 2003)
Author: Lillian Faderman
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Required reading for any woman loving woman
An outstanding personal memoir and documentary of mid-twentieth century lesbian life. Faderman's autobiography is an essential accompaniment to her lesbian history books. As a young lesbian, this book has given me a much deeper insight into life "before Stonewall" and during the earliest stages of the gay rights and women's lib movements. The writing itself *glows* and is far more powerful than any novel that I have read in a long time. This book is an absolute must-read for any lesbian, and will be an enlightening journey for any reader, gay or straight or anywhere in between.

A promise to expose a personal truth in all its nakedness
Ms. Faderman's story could have been a riveting novel, except that the series of events would have stretched our incredulity for its bigger-than-life experiences that could only be believed in the real world, not in fiction.

Lillian goes through derivatives of her name as Lil or Lily, with each name representing a phase in her turbulent life. She tells the extraordinary story of growing as a very poor girl to an unwed mother who had made a series of very poor choices she lives to regret. These life changing decisions haunt not only the mother, who is given to bouts of depression and temporary loss of her faculties, but deeply affect her daughter's life and choices.

From struggling to become an talented actress with "a bad face, a good body," to become a sex model--at fourteen--to older men with cameras shooting her photographs for their private pleasure, Lillian's freefall is almost certain. But in a last moment stroke of realization--supported by an encouraging teacher--she returns to high school.

In years to come, as Lillian holds on by her teeth to her continuing education, she continues to make ends meet as a pin-up model. The minimum wage in the 50s and 60s in more conventional occupations is way below living wages. (The author saves herself no embarrassment as she peppers the book with actual photographs of her naked poses.) At the same time, never doubting her homosexual makeup, she falls in and out of relationships, most of which start great, last for a good while, then wither away. All the while Lillian puts out a semi-respectable front for the sake of her mother and aunt, including marrying a gay man and later dating a straight man.

Once she reaches adulthood and finishes her graduate studies, in a university campus she had never planned to stay for more than one school year, Dr. Faderman rises up the ranks and is given opportunities to develop one of the earliest women's studies programs in the county--and the first to celebrate gay writing.

A wonderful, riveting book that is highly recommended both for its fluid prose as for it story-telling of a remarkable life...

An intense love story
It sounds unbelievable: an illegitimate child who early in life realized she loved women; who stripped for men to finance her education (starting while she was still in her mid-teens); who earned a PH.d. and a professorship. But Lillian Faderman draws you into her life with immediacy, passion and humor. While still in high school, she walks a razor's edge, her 38-inch bust attracting sexual predators of both genders who alternatively coax and shove her towards the prostitution -- to her the ultimate degradation. Her struggling, psychologically disturbed, immigrant mother is both an inspiration for bettering herself and a warning against succumbing to the sordidness that so often surrounds her. Faderman acquires both male and female lovers but her strongest love is for her mother and her Aunt Rae. The book is striking for the lack of bitterness; you get a sense of a child's early love for the parent who can do no wrong. Or maybe it's more like the parent's unconditional love for the child, as Faderman so often had to mother her own parent. Really an inspirational story and thanks for throwing in those '50s pin-up pictures.

Chloe Plus Olivia: An Anthology of Lesbian Litererature from the Seventeenth Century to the Present
Published in Hardcover by Viking Press (July, 1994)
Author: Lillian Faderman
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A wonderful anthology of lesbian poetry and literature.
Lillian Faderman has done an impressive job of collecting poetic and literary works on lesbian topics and presenting them in the context of the author's lives and the literary climate of they time they were published. This is an invaluable reference for anyone interested in lesbian or women's writings. A must have!

I Begin My Life All Over : The Hmong and the American Immigrant Experience
Published in Hardcover by Beacon Press (April, 1998)
Authors: Lillian Faderman and Ghia Xiong
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A Must-Read for Multi-Cultural or Ethnic Studies Students
This text was an amazingly comprehensive look at the experiences of Hmong immigrants to the United States during the past three decades. I used this book in my Teacher Education courses at a California State University and found that each of students who read it was moved to a new level of understanding of culture, the challenges of the second language acquisition process, and the complexty of the modern immigrants' acculturation experience. It illustrates the difference in cosmology between immigrants and non-immigrants by examining a variety of real life topics through short vignettes. The range of accounts (from teenagers to the elderly) gives a breadth of perspectives that adds to the value of this text as a classroom resource. I recommend this text to high school and college instructors in reading, writing, history and multi-cultural studies courses as a required text or a supplemental reading assignment for student projects. For others, if you want to expand your mind and look at the world and life through the eyes of others, this is a compelling book that will not quickly be forgotten.

To Believe in Women : What Lesbians Have Done for America-A History
Published in Hardcover by Houghton Mifflin Co (15 June, 1999)
Author: Lillian Faderman
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Thick Read, But Worth the Effort...
I was very excited when I discovered this book. I looked forward to reading about the women who, without their struggles, I could not be where I am today. Believe proved to be a duanting task. It was what would be called "heavy reading", but if one pushes through the lenghthy and at times dry paragraphs, one discovers wonderful stories about the lives of women who helped define this country. I have read arguments that the women discussed in the book were not lesbians, but merely living livestyles, nonsexual lifestyles, prevalent to women of that era, and that Faderman did not present strong enough evidence to support her claims that these women were in fact lesbians. Faderman does take an assumptive aproach to the material, granted, and the title of the book alone, puts the reader in a frame of mind when reading the personal accounts. However, when all is said and done, one can not, in all honesty and while practicing any good judgement or common sense, believe that letters written between women which include, "I would give most anything to hold you right this second" or "We are a model for our married friends", are not of homosexual origin. More importantly though, are the contributions these women made to the fabric of this country, and the importance their services had in shaping America today; regardless of their sexual preferences.

Who knew?
Wow! I'm just amazed at how many important people and events have happened that I've never heard of. This book is fun to read,is inspiring and it is only just that people should know about lesbians contributions that benefitted all women. We all owe them a debt. And to who ever wrote the 2 star review...."frustrated"? didn't sound too frustrated to me, sounded like they were having a pretty good time, no evidence? come on, I mean, what straight women write letters like that in ANY era? Buy this book and read it. Its another of the pieces of the puzzle to the past that have been lost or ignored.

Superb book for feminists of all sexualities
A heterosexual feminist ally, I picked up this book at the suggestion of a friend, and was entranced by the premise of the book and meticulously researched evidence.

Precisely because they were not bound by unintended pregnancy (which continued to be a problem until the early 70's)Lesbians were the vanguard of the women's movement on everything from equal employment to the vote and birth control, and had an obligation to work towards policies that would benefit all women regardless of sexuality.

Granted some readers of the reviews will decide that this book attempts to glorify lesbians at the expense of straight women, but I have read this book repeatedly and simply find the truth as it existed in historical context. Faderman simply points out the important role that Lesbians have played---a contribution that gets over shaddowed in many straight women's and gay men's focused history books.

Chloe Plus Olivia: An Anthology of Lesbian Literature from the Seventeenth Century to the Present
Published in Paperback by Penguin USA (Paper) (December, 1995)
Author: Lillian Faderman
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A wonderful reference . . .
Just as the back cover says, Chloe Plus Olivia is "certain to become the reference point from which all subsequent studies of lesbian writing will begin". Lillian Faderman has done a wonderful job (and a great deal of homework) putting together this compendium of lesbian work. There are a few things, however, one should realize about this book. It only contains excerpts, not necessarily entire works--for obvious reasons, as she often cites novels. Therefore, it should be treated as a reference guide, not a source of great lesbian literature. Secondly, Faderman admits she dealt only with European and North American writers. I'm not faulting her for this; I simply wanted to point out that there are no selections from Asians, Latinas, or Native American writers. My favorite aspect of this book is that it contains interpretation and criticism. Though I'm perfectly capable of doing that myself, I always eagerly devour other scholars' opinions, especially in this particular area of study. Ms. Faderman introduced hours of new reading besides the obvious Willa Cather and Audre Lourde--but I still had to go to the library and get the actual books.

Excellent! Implicit and explicit lesbian lit. for centuries
Faderman has compiled a homosexual 'tour de force' with this anthology. Ranging from Emily Dickinson to Audre Lorde to Pat Califia, this generous volume ecompasses psychoanalytic theory (Sigmund Freud), historical documents, a play, poetry, and short stories. The poetic inclusions offer the largest assortment of both encoded and straightforward lesbian poetry that is available in one book. Faderman's notes for each author offer insight (the clitoral imagery in Emily Dickinson's poetry, Angelina Weld Grimke's background). The short stories are humorous, romantic, sexy, sad, and touching in turn. Altogether this book is worth much more than its price because it offers many hours of entertaining reading for any woman who has ever been attracted to another woman.

Surpassing the Love of Men
Published in Paperback by Quill (March, 1994)
Author: Lillian Faderman
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3.5 stars but this thing doesn't do halves
The author forcefully insists on the real passion between the women that she studies; this becomes to me repetitive and distracting. However, given the historical context of this book, in which a "lesbian recovery" of history was less accepted, I see the purpose of her tactics. In any case, the author draws together a wealth of evidence that makes for fascinating and provocative reading, even if she does lean a bit too much on literary examples as proof of what attitudes were "really." She makes a strong case, though. Recommended.

The Tree and the Vine
Published in Hardcover by The Feminist Press at CUNY (June, 1996)
Authors: Dola De Jong, Illona Kinzer, Lillian Faderman, Ilona Kinzer, and Barbara Tanner
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Unrealized desires
Bea is a secretary in Holland in the late 1930s, where she meets a journalist named Erica. Bonding together and sharing an apartment, the two have a stormy relationship because of Bea's unrealized desire for Erica and her empty affairs with men, and because of Erica's self-destructive nature. As the Nazi influence in Holland grows, Erica lives in danger due to her half-Jewish heritage, but only Bea seems to recognize the danger. Erica does confess her same-sex relationships to Bea, but Bea can't seem to figure out where her own desires lie, and when Erica gets involved with the Dutch resistance, Bea finds it may be too late, in more ways than one. De Jong's groundbreaking work is further analyzed by Lillian Faderman's astute afterword. The story brings to mind such novels as "Aimee And Jaguar", Ebba Haslund's "Nothing Happened", and Erzsebet Galgoczi's "Another Love", all set around the same time, and all showing the limited possibilities for lesbian life in Europe during the mid-1900s.

Homosexuality in Renaissance England
Published in Hardcover by Columbia University Press (15 April, 1995)
Authors: Alan Bray, Lillian Faderman, and Larry Gross
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Lesbian-Feminism in Turn-Of-The-Century Germany (Stories and Autobiographies)
Published in Paperback by Naiad Pr (July, 1980)
Author: Lillian and Erickson, Brigite Faderman
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Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers
Published in Hardcover by Columbia University Press (15 October, 1991)
Author: Lillian Faderman
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