I am sick… like throat closing, body aching sick. What does that mean? As I am sequestered, I will get to writing some very past due posts. Yay *cough cough* One thing I have really wanted to share was my love for books. I even tried to start a KWord book group… during my first semester back in grad school (not my brightest idea). Now that I am in the swing of things (getting them As y’all), I have joined a LGBT book club. The first book we read was Ghost Wife: A Memoir of Love and Defiance by Michelle Dicinoski. Plot Snapshot: Ghost Wife is a memoir, sprinkled with stories of lesbians past, told while following the author and her fiancee on the way to get married in Canada. For those who don’t know what ghost wives are, let’s visit our trusty friends at Wikipedia. In Chinese tradition, a ghost marriage (Chinese: 冥婚; pinyin: mínghūn; literally “spirit marriage“) is a marriage in which one or both parties are deceased. In a society where their marriage was not legal, and in a family where her relationship was often not acknowledged ,Michelle and her partner Heather have to ask, will they also invisible? Are they destined to be virtual ghost wives? I liked this one. Some of the parts were a little disjointed for me, specifically her going on and on about her grandparents’ relationship and her mother’s childhood. And while it didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the book, it was just a bit distracting. My favorite parts were the snapshots she included of other lesbian couples across time. I only wish there had been more. I can’t wait to update the post with the reflections of the other group members.
Soooooo I went to a lesbian book club last night. *sigh*
Soooooo I went to a queer book club last night. *sigh*
Sooooo I went to what started as a book club and ended as a rehash of seasons 1-6 of the L Word.
Sooooo I tried my best to be engaged but I failed.
Sooooo the K Word Book Club has been born. No really, I texted a few of my favorite folks this morning and thanks to the power of Skype we are ret to go.
Penelope, a Florida native, died Saturday in Texas, Windy City Times reports. She produced numerous books as either author or editor, including Lesbians Only: A Separatist Anthology; The Original Coming Out Stories; Finding the Lesbians; International Feminist Fiction; Sexual Practice/Textual Theory: Lesbian Cultural Criticism; Lesbian Culture: An Anthology; Out of the Class Closet: Lesbian Speak; Call Me Lesbian: Lesbian Lives, Lesbian Theory; and Crossword Puzzles for Women.
She taught at several universities, including the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, but she “was reportedly passed over for promotions because of her focus on lesbian issues,” Windy City Times notes. She was one of the first professors to teach courses in women’s studies. She also encountered difficulties with academic authorities in her student years, having been asked to leave Florida State University in 1959 because she was a lesbian. She went on to receive degrees from the City University of New York and University of Texas at Austin.
“But some survive. Many of us have lived to tell our stories, to create Lesbian texts, to read Lesbian texts, even to write commentaries and criticisms of Lesbian texts. All of these activities must be pluralized, multiplied, complicated, and pluralized again, because there is no single, narrow, one-sentence definition of “The Lesbian.” The sexologists may have been the ones to name us, but we can, and do, create ourselves. Our of a mishmash of disinformation, misinformation and outright lies, each Lesbian constructs some story about who she is and who she might someday be…”
― Julia Penelope, Call Me Lesbian: Lesbian Lives, Lesbian Theory
Julia, you might not have been a super lesbian but thank you for giving us a voice and a pioneering the critical study of the lesbian experience.
Call Me Lesbian is the next book on my reading list! What about you?