by Jaye Zimet
Viking Studio, 1999
is one of the best pulp fiction/tawdry paperback coffee table books to
come out this year. It covers the golden age of paperbacks, 1949-1969.
This book showcases the lesbian paperback collection of Jaye Zimet...and
what a collection it is! As she explains, these books were written for
the "largely male, heterosexual readership and to the illumination of isolated
women in search of lesbian community." This is mostly a picture book featuring
all sorts of paperback covers, from the sleazy to the sublime. Covers,
as paperback collectors will tell you, are one of the best features of
a book. These painted covers were meant to entice and hopefully get you
to buy the book. Lesbian pulp fiction had an extra allure because, as Zimet
says, "Before the sexual revolution of the 1960's, these books offered
a thrilling peek into an erotic underworld of deviant passions and scandalous
couplings." The covers featured in this book are organized into chapters
entitled "Women Alone," "Positive Portraits," "Strange Sisters," "Cliterature,"
"Psycho-Babble," "Dangerous Desires," "Longing Looks," "Bi, Bi, Love,"
"Cleavage," and "Sleaze." Zimet has done her best to identify cover artists
and has a wicked sense of humor when it come to captions.
Sisters has some thoughtful and keen insights into the psychology
of these books as well as keeping sight of the humor these lurid covers
invoke. Don't forget to check out their website.
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