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Book reviews for "Nestle,_Joan" sorted by average review score:

The Persistent Desire: A Femme-Butch Reader
Published in Paperback by Alyson Pubns (1992)
Author: Joan Nestle
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Desire that Burns
After a recent submersion into what is passing for lesbian erotica these days -- and feeling as if I just wasn't perverse enough to be a "real" lesbian -- I revisited this classic.

After finishing it, and being once again intrigued, informed, aroused and delighted, I realized what it has that so many more recent anthologies lack: it has human contact based on emotion. The women in it are real and their feelings have true context. Instead of cold and sterile sex acts between people portrayed as obsessed with looks and their own image, this anthology overflows with the fluid nature of human sexuality and genuine human warmth.

Some may read for the historical perspective and others may miss the explicit-anything-for-shock-value gender games and power plays that are required it seems in all of the "best of" lesbian erotica out there now. I read it for the emotional impact because when it comes to erotica I need the emotional tie. Given how many lesbians (whether they admit it or not) read lesbian romance novels, I don't think I'm alone.

Informative, enlightening
Though I do not consider myself a lesbian, I have been attracted to a butch woman before and wanted to understand the feeling better. This book helped me understand the dynamic of attraction between butch and fem. It was precisely because she was masculine that I was attracted to her, but because she was a woman there was a sameness I could relate to and identify with. It was safer in a way than a man, because it wasn't quite so opposite. You still have the masculine/feminine polarity, but at the same time a comfortable sameness. It cleared up a lot of my questions and validated a lot of conclusions I had come to regarding the butch/fem dynamic.

A groundbreaking anthology of butch/femme writings
This is the one of the first serious books published on butch/femme within a historical context in the lesbian community. It's a huge collection of historical materials of varying quality, with poems, photographs, essays, etc. This book is absolutely necessary for anyone seeking an understanding of butch/femme as a multi-layered, many-faceted experience.

A Fragile Union: New & Selected Writings
Published in Paperback by Cleis Press (1998)
Author: Joan Nestle
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Smoldering Politics
Only Joan Nestle can mix a batch of essays that makes politics flame and smolder and lesbian sexual desire ignite an erotic revolution in the mind's eye.

"a fragile union" is an intellectual and emotional odyssey that takes the reader from the '50s butch/fem bar culture smack in the middle of McCarthyism to 21st century assimilationist politics both left and right.

Nestle's razor sharp analysis misses nothing when examining and mining the queer "community," as well as straight society's triumphs, failures and acts of kindess, both large and small--even the small undergrowth of hope that swells in both G/L/B/T activism and lesbian mouths and cunts.

At sixty, Nestle's words and world brim with the intellectual and erotic power that fueled the founding of the Lesbian Herstory Archives in the '70s, drove the writing of two collections of essays in the '80s & '90s, co-editing of a dozens books of women's writing and volumns of lesbian erotica throughout the later half of the 20th century.

Get thee to the local women's bookstore and buy "a fragile union." Buy more than one and give them out as gifts of both desire and revolution.

A Fragile Union
What can I say? Joan Nestle does it again - a fabulous collection of short pieces exploring issues of lesbian sexuality. Her writing is so beautiful and evocative, she captures moments and meanings of sexual encounters and identities so well.

In this collection, Nestle - an iconic femme - introduces us to her new Australian lover, who is also, in an American sense, a femme - or at least not a butch. The effect this has on Nestle's own sexual identity is explored, and this may be challenging for some past fans of Nestle's celebration of the butch- femme asthetic.

Buy it, read it, you'll love it.

A Restricted Country
Published in Paperback by Cleis Press (2003)
Author: Joan Nestle
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One of my top ten
This book of essays is one of my most favorite books about lesbian herstory.

Joan Nestle is a co-founder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn, NY, and her passion for remembering and honoring lesbian life and culture can be seen in this collection. From the perspective of a witness/participant in the pre-Stonewall era of gay life in NYC, Nestle recreates the courage and the struggles of lesbians to find each other and create community in the '50s and '60s. Nestle's writing is beautiful and moving; this book is unique.

I highly recommend this book for everyone who wants an understanding of lesbian life and culture during these particular years; I especially recommend this book for younger lesbians and gay men who are interested in understanding the lives and sacrifices of the generation previous, who helped create what we know and enjoy as contemporary lesbian and gay culture.

The Vintage Book of International Lesbian Fiction
Published in Paperback by Vintage Books (1999)
Authors: Naomi Holoch and Joan Nestle
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This collection of lesbian fiction, not all by lesbian authors, is a marvelous assortment of voices from around the world. From such big names as Violette Leduc, Emma Donoghue, Makeda Silvera, and Dionne Brand, to new-to-American-eyes writers like Jeanne d'Arc Jutras, Yasmin Tambiah, and Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, this anthology has definitely opened my eyes to the diversity of lesbian fiction. I only wish there was more available by some of these authors here in the US! This book only whets the appetite like standing in the middle of an international food festival, not knowing which morsel to savor first.

Women on Women 3: A New Anthology of American Lesbian Fiction (Anthology)
Published in Paperback by Plume (1996)
Authors: Joan Nestle and Naomi Holoch
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Women On Women 3
Before i read this book .. i felt lost and curious at the same time . I knew that I had feelings for women , just as i had taught myself to "act" like i felt for men . I came across " Women on Women 3" on a road trip to Maine with some friends of mine . I was only 17 . So , i stayed up one night, the same day i bought the book , and read all night . Each story spoke to me , and i had come to this grand realisation that i was in fact a lesbian. It was as though a little light in my head was turned on ! I carried the book to my chest with me everywhere . I couldn't have been more happy . When i came home though , it was a different story . I had left my book lying on the stair case. My mother; with her air of revernt grace that seems to follow her about , took one look at the book , and thew it away . I never saw my book again , and living in the small town that i do , it is close to impossible to find any lesbian literature . So i wrote this.. I feel that now i can not mourn the loss of it .. but now i can be blessed with the knowlege that someone who is searching for their 'indenity' can read this , and know that there is one great book out there too look to ..

Women on Women: An Anthology of American Lesbian Short Fiction (Plume Fiction)
Published in Paperback by Plume (1990)
Authors: Joan Nestle and Naomi Holoch
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Offers passionate insights into the lesbian experience ...
28 stunning stories by some of America's best-known Lesbian writers and new voices in lesbian fiction. Not all of these stories are about sex, but all explore relationships and are seen from a point of view not heard from often enough. "... to live, to observe, to write as a lesbian is to live, observe, and write from a position of difference." Stories range from slow and sensual to hot and hard, and appeal to a wide variety of readers, including heterosexuals and couples. Featured writers include: Willa Cather, Sapphire, and Jewelle L. Gomez. In their introduction, the editors say: "Irreverence and exuberance are perhaps at last becoming integrated into the lesbian experience in a manner that will help give still more varied forms to lesbian lives and literature." To find more books of lesbian fiction, along with erotica and sexuality, please visit my Associate Bookstore:

Genderqueer: Voices from Beyond the Sexual Binary
Published in Paperback by Alyson Pubns (2002)
Authors: Joan Nestle, Riki Wilchins, and Clare Howell
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Remarkable Anthology
Saw it on the shelf at a local bookstore, started reading, and took it home. The individual pieces range from good, to stunning ("Packing a Rod" by Allen James and "The Gender Cops Work Overtime" by Gina Reiss are immediate standouts, both good enough to demand being read aloud). The authors address behavior, family relations, social relations, sex-reassignment surgery (whether or not to have it), the bi-gender system, and other topics.

"Genderqueer" is a "pull it off the shelf for guests" book - I don't know any other way of putting it. As a transgendered person, I have a number of books on the topic, including Riki Wilchins' excellent "Read My Lips." However this is the one that I find myself repeatedly grabbing for non-transgendered friends and family to highlight ideas and create awareness of the range of gender expression and identity issues. It is also a book that I have to work hard to keep it coming back to me - it has a tendency to go home with guests.

Be forewarned, though - this is not a book for the easily offended, be you straight, gay, queer, trans- or not. If you need your own feelings and ideas confirmed and validated, better to read something else. A number of the authors are brutal in their honesty, coarse in their language, and express disturbing opinions. For me, though, "Genderqueer" was enlightening, stimulating, often hilarious, and occasionally infuriating.

an amazing anthology
Although a lot has been written about gender already, the editors--all acclaimed activists in their own right--go beyond the usual discussion of MTF and FTM. Instead, they talk about all kinds of people who fit outside gender norms, and argue that it is more complicated than we thought. If more people are included in this category, there is a better chance of fighting for acceptance. Gender equality is the latest battle in the quest for civil rights, and it's an interesting one.

But this is more than gender theory. The personal stories are all thought-provoking. I found myself thinking about them long after I stopped reading them. You will too.

Best Lesbian Erotica 2000
Published in Paperback by Cleis Press (1999)
Authors: Joan Nestle and Tristan Taormino
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Not the best of lesbian erotica
I was looking forward to reading this book from cover to cover in one sitting but it was impossible to do. This book is certainly not the "best" of lesbian erotica. I would suggest that the editors cast a wider net than they have done to see what they catch. The experience and focus were too narrow, story structures too hackneyed, definitely not new. There were two stories that were exceptions that saves my rating from dropping to zero. It was a disappointing collection. The editors must try to step out more often into the world to see what and where truly innovative writing is happening and bring it to us.

Excellent, diversified reading...
Every taste seems to be covered in this book. It was fun to simply open the book and pick a new don't know where you will be led but most of the stories take you to a new and fun place your mind dares not to admit.

So erotica!
This book was the best book that I have ever read! Second to, "The Old Man and The Sea." I found it very erotifying. The pictures are fantastic, so are the articles. They are chalk full of sexxy details..and naughty secrets! It has succeeded to fulfill my cravings!

The Lesbian Periodicals Index
Published in Paperback by Naiad Pr (1986)
Authors: Clare Potter and Joan Nestle
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NYC Sex: How New York Transformed Sex in America
Published in Paperback by Scala Books (15 September, 2002)
Authors: Grady T. Turner, Martin Duberman, Joan Nestle, Scala Publishers, and Daniel Gluck
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