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The “Non Bib,” Beta .2

A Non-heterosexual, Non-male-identified, Creative Nonfiction Pathfinder, Beta .2 (Work in progress, November 2005, K.G. Schneider, kgs at bluehighways dot com)

(N.b. I began this pathfinder last week, when I realized that I could not list any contemporary lesbian creative nonfiction writers. I ran a search in ProQuest, then approached a mailing list for GLBT librarians, and this is what I have so far. This will always be a work in progress, but I’d like to have something credible before the spring semester begins in late January.)

This bibliography is an attempt to identify contemporary female-identified lesbian/bisexual/transgendered/queer writers who have contributed to the creative nonfiction genre. Representative titles will be linked to websites or library holdings where available. As of this version, very few of the names have been closely evaluated.

The definition of “contemporary” includes writers born after 1928. (That’s only because Adrienne Rich, a personal favorite of the bibliographer, was born in 1929.) The definition of “creative nonfiction” embraces all subgenres of the prose of fact–essays, travel writing, opinion pieces, reflections, portraits, reportage, food writing, and more examples than can possibly be listed here–provided that the writing exemplifies what Carolyn Forche and Philip Gerard call “factual prose that is also *literary*–infused with the stylistic devices, tropes, and rhetorical flourishes of the best fiction and the most lyrical of narrative poetry.”

Input, additional names, representative titles, and suggested annotations all welcome and encouraged.

K.G. Schneider


Allen, Paula Gunn (1939-)
Allison, Dorothy E. (1949-)
Skin : talking about sex, class & literature

Anzaldua, Gloria
Bond, Edward (1934-)
Boyd, Blanche McCrary
Bright, Susie
Brown, Rita Mae (1944-)
Brownworth, Victoria
“The Spirit of the Holidays,” Curve, 14:8

Bunch, Charlotte
“Lesbians in Revolt: Male Supremacy Quakes and Quivers,” The Furies: Lesbian/Feminist Monthly, vol.1 (January 1972), pp.8-9

Butler, Judith
Clarke, Cheryl
Cliff, Michelle

de Beauvoire, Simone (1908-1986)
Clinton, Kate
Duffy, Maureen (1933-)
Faderman, Lillian
Naked in the Promised Land, 2003

Flagg, Fannie (1944-)
Frye, Marilyn
Gomez, Jewelle
Grahn, Judy
Hacker, Marilyn (1942-)
Halberstam, Judith
Herring, Phillip F. (1936-)
Johnston, Jill
Jordan, June
Klepfisz, Irena
Kovick, Kris
Lorde, Audre (Geraldine) (1934-1992)
Lynch, Lee
The Amazon Trail, Naiad Press, 1988
Millett, Kate (1934-)
Moraga, Cherrie (1952-)
Murdoch, Iris (1919-1999)
The sovereignty of good (1970)
Myles, Eileen (1949-)
Nestle, Joan
A restricted country

Newton, Esther
Obejas, Achy [has she written in the genre?]
Paglia, Camille
Portillo Trambley, Estela (1936-)
Pratt, Minnie Bruce
Rich, Adrienne (1929-)
Rich, B. Ruby
Schulman, Sarah
Smith, Barbara
Winterson, Jeanette (1959-)
Wittig, Monique

Also See

Solanas, Valerie (?-1988)
“The S.C.U.M. Manifesto” (1968)

She’s a wee too crazy to include on the main list, but Solanas’ manifesto has flashes of literary brilliance, and is much better, in terms of craft, than many saner documents of the same era.

Posted on this day, other years:

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  1. Emma Donoghue
    Nell McCafferty

    Sunday, November 20, 2005 at 11:21 am | Permalink
  2. Nuala O’Faolain

    Sunday, November 20, 2005 at 11:33 am | Permalink
  3. kgs wrote:

    Heck, I didn’t even know Nuala was a sister! Super additions, thanks!

    Sunday, November 20, 2005 at 11:37 am | Permalink
  4. kgs wrote:

    Would you say We Are Michael Field is a good example of Donohue’s creative nonfiction?

    Sunday, November 20, 2005 at 11:57 am | Permalink
  5. kgs wrote:

    For O’Faolain, I think I’ll reference both Are You Somebody and Almost There. (Geeze, now I know why people keep asking me if I recommend her stuff, which I haven’t read yet… I always think, what, am I some kind of expert on Irish journalists?)

    Sunday, November 20, 2005 at 12:03 pm | Permalink
  6. I have read several Emma Donoghue novels, but not her non-fiction.

    I came across this SFPL resource just now when searching on ED.

    Sunday, November 20, 2005 at 1:17 pm | Permalink
  7. That’s:

    The HTML seems to have been lost.

    Sunday, November 20, 2005 at 1:20 pm | Permalink
  8. Ruth Ellen wrote:

    Evelyn Torton Beck, editor
    Nice Jewish Girls : a Lesbian anthology.

    Unfortunately, WorldCat ( ) doesn’t have analytics. Fortunately, I have a copy and can send them if you want.

    Sunday, November 20, 2005 at 1:53 pm | Permalink
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    Judith Butler drives me crazy. I spent a half an hour once trying to translate one sentence she wrote into something I could comprehend. Anyway. Here are some more writers: Naomi Littlebear, Barabara Cameron, Chrystos, Mary Daly, Mirtha Quintanales, Doris Juanita Davenport, Pat Parker, and Beverly Smith. You may want to check “This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color” to see if I missed anyone included in that anthology that wasn’t already on your list.

    Sunday, November 20, 2005 at 2:19 pm | Permalink
  10. Laura wrote:

    Celeste West, of Revolting Librarians and many lesbian love-life tomes

    Erika Lopez – for her semi-autobiographical one woman show.

    Monday, November 21, 2005 at 5:00 pm | Permalink
  11. alan wrote:

    I don’t know how she identifies these days, but Brenda Miller writes about her prior relationship with another woman and two men at the same time:

    Monday, November 21, 2005 at 7:38 pm | Permalink
  12. That sounds exhausting! But thanks. Once identified… well, that’s how it goes :-)

    Monday, November 21, 2005 at 7:53 pm | Permalink
  13. Mary Daly seems more academic than craft, methinks…

    Monday, November 21, 2005 at 7:59 pm | Permalink
  14. Anna wrote:

    Just wanted to let you know that I’m the Anon. above. I wondered when it didn’t post imediately if something wiggy happened with the TypeKey login. Anyway, Butler still drives me crazy. ;)

    Monday, November 21, 2005 at 10:03 pm | Permalink
  15. Oh, Anna, I thought you were a Shy Person. :-)

    Btw, from somewhere else came this comment: “de Beauvoir doesn’t fit the birth criteria. Two other Indian/European-American writers – Beth Brant and Joy Harjo. Harjo seems to keep her Indian writings/life rather separate from her lesbian writings/life.”

    Note that when I fisk this list, I will be culling the pure academics; I felt an eyebrow go up over Mary Daly, for example. I also don’t want to get all librarian on myself and exclude someone who really is contemporary in sensibility just because I started with an arbitrary yardstick. I’m looking for contemporary non-non-non *Craft* (I’m looking for craft in all the wrong places, la la la la…).

    Tuesday, November 22, 2005 at 9:15 am | Permalink
  16. [libcat] wrote:

    btw, having quote marks in your title breaks your feed, at least as far as LiveJournal is concerned—it turns the comments link into <a href=”“ title=”Comment on: The “Non Bib,” Beta .2″>, and lj’s poor little syndication reader gets confused by the title attribute and barfs all your code on the feed, which then looks like this: …. it looks like using single quotes instead might work. thought you might like to know.

    Saturday, December 3, 2005 at 3:54 pm | Permalink
  17. That’s ironic, considering that the feed is generated by Movable Type, and both MT and LJ are Six Apart products!

    Saturday, December 3, 2005 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

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