Ana’s Advent Calendar Day 8: Beginners’ Guide to Lesfic

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Today I have a special treat for you! Everyone who has visited Governing Ana before knows I write stories about women who love women. At first, I felt as if I were the only person who read and wrote these stories. Fortunately, I’ve been proven wrong on numerous occasions. Nancy Heredia introduced me to Sandra Moran’s wonderful book, Letters Never Sent. She gave me enough recommendations to make my head spin, so I immediately asked her to write a post for you today. I’m often asked to point people to new lesfic, but I’m surrounded by a lot of m/f and m/m authors. If you ever asked for a new author to read, Nancy’s the resource for you.

P.S. Can we all take a moment to appreciate Nancy’s bibliography written in MLA style? 😀

Beginners Guide to Lesfic

Like many of you I am a beginner when it comes to reading contemporary lesbian fiction, which I have been reading more or less exclusively since the spring of 2013. I don’t specifically recall the circumstances but I believe it had something to do with some love letters I found during spring cleaning. They were the most ardent and romantic love letters any woman could write to another woman and it called to mind the past when written letters were the main form of communication. The romantic letters exchanged between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West are legendary. But it was these letters I had in my possession from a long lost lover that made me want to read more romance between women, something I had abandoned years earlier. For some reason I chose a collection of love letters written by Radclyffe Hall, the author of The Well of Loneliness, a novel many of us love to hate but nevertheless is an immensely important book in the culture of lesbian fiction.

 

The journey that brought me to this point though really began when I was a teenager…Let’s set the scene…

I’m a native New Yorker, born and raised in NYC in a small Hispanic and very Catholic family. It was the 1960’s and my parents had separated. My mother, older sister and I went to live with my mother’s brother Ramon and his wife my aunt Georgina and their 2 children, my cousins Jose and Jenny. It was a grand time, the best time of my childhood. I was about 13 years old and I loved being the youngest of the kids. Even then I loved books and reading was my favorite pastime. I read everything I could and loved stories about myths and heroes, about Greek and Roman Gods and Goddesses. I was also very aware by this time that I was different, I knew in what way I was different, I knew what it meant, the word lesbian. I knew I was one and I understood instinctively why I had to hide it. I will never know what direction my life would have taken if this one singular thing had not occurred. It was only this; One day I was looking through the dresser drawers in my aunt’s bedroom, with the curiosity of a child, not looking for anything in particular when I found it. In the bottom of a drawer, a paperback book, the cover a silhouette of 2 girls I think but it was the title that arrested my attention. The Evil Friendship by Vin Packer. Without thinking why, I took it and hid it in my book bag and began reading it surreptitiously any chance I had. It was a terrible story but I didn’t care about that. All I cared about was the few scenes where the teenage girls kiss and express their love for each other. I just didn’t care that their mothers took a dim view of their friendship and planned to separate them by sending them away to a different school. I didn’t care that the girls reacted by planning to murder their mothers.

 

I kept this book in my possession for a long time and when my mom found us another apt. we left the extended family and then it was just the 3 of us. I was 14 and old enough to work part time after school and I got my first job in a little neighborhood secondhand book and magazine store. I loved being in that store! And now I could buy the books I wanted to read like Dashiell Hammet, Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. I loved the movie magazines and was forever gazing at pictures of glamourous movie stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Ava Gardner. My duties in the store included unpacking boxes of donations that arrived frequently. It was during this process that I came across a copy of The Well Of Loneliness and soon after encountered for the first time what we now call lesbian paperback pulp fiction.

 

 

Naturally I was not supposed to see these let alone buy them with the money I was making working in the store but I was clever and from time to time would make several purchases hoping the store keeper would not look too closely at them. I tried to mix them up with comic books, magazines and the like. Only once did he look at a book for a long time and looked at me for a long time before slipping the book in the bag with the others. I didn’t think I could pull that off too many times so I had to think of another way. In the mean time I was stashing these books in my room and it helped that my mother was indifferent and uninterested in what I was doing. I seemed very much to be a good Catholic girl, went to school, and did my homework and chores without complaining. I went to church when I was supposed to. I never talked back. I quickly had a collection that included Ann Bannon’s books like Beebo Brinker, and Odd Girl Out. Once again I didn’t especially care about anything but the love scenes which I read over and over and over again. I could not get enough. I felt almost compelled to acquire them. I would have been happy to buy them outright and while I was mature for my age, it was obvious I was a kid. There was a drug store in the neighborhood that had books similar to these but again I had little hope of buying them. What else could I do? I had no choice. I began to steal them. First from the drug store and then from that other store in the Port Authority bus terminal for I was loathe to steal from my employer. Ultimately I did steal from the store where I worked and in very little time had amassed a collection of around 30 of these pulp fiction novels. I hid them in a large suitcase under my bed and as long as I kept my room clean, my mother had no reason to examine the contents of the suitcase.

 

Then one day she did. I was sitting on my bed reading and she came in to vacuum. Before I could do anything she had pulled the suitcase from under the bed and opened it. The covers gave me away of course but the titles were hard to miss. Spring Fire, Women’s Barracks, We Walk Alone, I Prefer Girls… Without saying one word to me and with a look I still cannot describe, she hauled the suitcase out of my room and threw it all away. I was powerless to stop her. I was 15 and she was not someone to argue with. I was afraid then, afraid what she would do to me. She had already thrown my sister out of the house for being pregnant her last year in high school so what could I expect? But she neither said nor did anything. I sat there, shocked knowing I could not do anything to get those books back. I sat there; rather numb I think and thought to myself ‘I can’t stay here…” I knew I would not be able to leave until I was 18 and would have to wait. It was as close as I ever came to hating her. She never really spoke to me again. I left upon graduating high school and didn’t see or speak to my mother again for years.

 

 

So when the spring of 2013 came around I realized I had no idea where to begin or what I should read first if I wanted to read a lesbian novel. What to read first seemed rather important to me and I organized a list on Amazon. This was after finding a list on GoodReads of the best lesbian novels-over 500 books long! In first place was Tipping The Velvet by Sarah Waters which I hadn’t read along with dozens of others I had read like Patience & Sarah by Isabel Miller. Since I love romance I aimed for romantic themes and here the book’s blurbs became my guide. I organized my list alphabetically by author and so by that scheme Lynn Ames should have been first but I chose a novel by Kiki Archer called But She Is My Student. I was curious to see how a lesbian affair between a teacher and her student would be handled and so I began….I now have 100 books on my wish list and I buy as many books as I can as often as I can with the limited means I have. Since then I have acquired 100 books in paperback and do you know why? Can you understand why I am buying print when ebooks are less expensive? Can you guess? I am making it up to myself as best I can for the loss of my paperback collection in the only way that is left to me. What is gone is gone and can never be replaced but I’m trying. I’m trying very hard to make it up to that 15 year old girl which in many ways I still am.

We loved our aunt Georgina, my sister and I and years later, when the time came to have that conversation about how we were treated growing up, we both said it. How we wished Georgina had been our mother. You may wonder now why she had The Evil Friendship hidden away. To this day I do not know how it was discovered but when my mom and sister and I left, my uncle also departed because it became known that Georgina was having an affair with another woman, a friend of the family who I always thought of as a distant cousin. Her name was Naomi and she lived in the same building as we, and spent a lot of time with us. She was great with us kids and totally got who we each were. I remember she gave me a portable record player because I loved music so much and I could spin my Beatles 45’s. I never saw them kiss, embrace or do anything that might indicate an intimate relationship. I guess everybody thought they were best friends. Only once did I see them exchange a look I could not at the time interpret. We were setting the table for dinner-I remember that. Their eyes met and held each other’s gaze for what seemed like a long time to me. I don’t know why I noticed this but I could not look away. There was something being communicated in that look they shared. I would not know what it was until I was an adult woman but it was chemistry. And love.

After the discovery, we left and Georgina was banned from our lives. I learned years later that after a time both Georgina and Naomi left NYC for Puerto Rico and shared a home for the rest of their lives. But I never saw Georgina again.

Here are some links you may find useful as you begin your journey to lesfic.

http://www.indielesfic.com/ a good compilation of indie authors.

http://www.goldencrown.org/ an excellent source for books which have been nominated for the Goldie award.

http://www.autostraddle.com/lesbian-authors-in-the-80s-139495/ lesfic has a long and rich past. Find out about it here.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/229491.Chloe_Plus_Olivia a wonderful anthology of lesbian literature from the 17th century to the 20th Century.

I love romance, historical fiction and mysteries and I’ve read quite a bit in these areas however I have not read speculative fiction, paranormal or anything zombie related so I don’t have recommendations at this time.

Some contemporary romantic fiction I’ve read recently and highly recommend:

Ames, Lynn. Eyes on the Stars. Phoenix: Phoenix Rising, 2010. Print.

Beers, Georgia. 96 Hours. New York: Bywater, 2011. Print.

Brayden, Melissa. Heart Block. Valley Falls, NY: Bold Strokes, 2012. Print.

Kallmaker, Karin. Love by the Numbers. Tallahassee, FL: Bella, 2013. Print.

Rizzo, Cindy. Exception to the Rule. N.Y. Self-published. 2013. Print.

Rizzo, Cindy. Love Is Enough. N.Y. Self-published. 2014. Print.

Spangler, Rachel. Does She Love You? Tallahassee, FL: Bold Strokes Books, 2013. Print.

Winters, Jade. Faking It. 2014. Print.

For historical/romance I recommend:

Henderson, Patty G. Passion For Vengeance. Blanca Rosa Publishing. 2013. Print.

North, Linda. Wind And Dreams. Salinas, California. Sapphire Books Publishing. 2013. Print.

Saracen, Justine. Waiting for the Violins. Print.

Thomas, TT. A Delicate Refusal. Bon View Publishing. 2013. Print.

 

For thrillers, mysteries these are excellent reads:

Aptaker, Ann. Criminal Gold. Tallahassee, FL: Bold Strokes Books, 2014. Print.

Bradshaw, R. E. The Rainey Season: A Rainey Bell Thriller. Print.

Powell, V.K. Haunting Whispers. Tallahassee, FL: Bold Strokes Books, 2012. Print.

For literary/dramatic fiction:

Martin, Marianne K. Tangled Roots. Bywater Books, 2014. Print.

Moran, Sandra. Letters Never Sent. Fairfield, CA: Bink, 2013. Print.

Samuel, RJ. A Place Somewhere. Createspace. Independent Publishing Platform. 2014. Print.

Here are a few publishers for a comprehensive look at what is available:

http://affinityebooks.com/

http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/

http://www.bywaterbooks.com/

http://www.sapphirebooks.com/

http://www.ylva-publishing.com/

 

Above all, read what YOU want to read. Follow your heart’s desire and read the stories you want to immerse yourself in. Happy Reading!

 

–Nancy Heredia

 

 

 

 

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111 thoughts on “Ana’s Advent Calendar Day 8: Beginners’ Guide to Lesfic

    • Nancy Heredia says:

      Thank you Holla. It was a sad thing to have happened. Throwing my books away was like doing the same to me. When I realized I I didn’t want to read lesfic on a device , it clicked and understood why I wanted print so badly. I’m just happy we have so many choices now and the brief bibliography is really just a small sample of what is out there for us.

      Like

  1. Renee says:

    Your story is unfortunately an oft times repeated one. I am so glad you were able to hold onto who you were until 18. Self expression and identification is so very important for teens, both boys and girls. So many times our society or culture demands everyone fits into their definition of acceptable that many children are lost. Left rudderless they seek out alternative means of expression through drugs, alcohol, and even death. Thank you for sharing your story and your lists. Blessings, R.

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  2. AFOdom says:

    Oooooh, I am so excited by these book lists! I never realized until I got to know Ana how little lesfic I’ve come across. I’m both a voracious and compulsive reader, so this blew my mind. I’ve been wondering where to go to get a good “starter list” (beyond Ana). And now I have one! Yay!

    Like

  3. Nancy says:

    Thank you for your kindness. It was a little harder than I thought to tell my story in a forum like this. Not something I typically do but I am so glad I did if it helps to guide just one of you on your journey.

    Like

  4. Joelle Casteel says:

    ((Nancy)) Thank you so much for sharing your story. It still leaves me wondering how we can be expected to be silent. I’ll share a little story with you- I identify as queer and am in a BDSM relationship with a male-bodied and -identified person. He and I were talking about a Salvation Army bell ringer one day. He said He wished the bell ringer had talked to Him so He would have had a reason to say “See that gay woman in my car? It’s because of her that I’ll never donate.” Amusing, the talk of recommending female/female or lesfic titles; when people ask for a recommendation, Ana is the author I recommend for contemporary books. Not that many authors come to my mind yet. I did go and request “The Well of Loneliness” on my library’s website. I came out as bisexual when I was 15 and I’ve long had those issues with “not being a lesbian” and dealing with biphobia and bi-invisibility (regardless of the fact that I now claim queer, poly, and kinky as my identity because bisexual just doesn’t feel like enough). And thank you so much for the list… I’ll need to work on my own wishlist 🙂

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    • Nancy Heredia says:

      Thank you JC for taking the time to read my post. I’m thrilled you want to read more new authors. Discovering what is available today is exciting!

      Like

  5. Holla Dean says:

    I found your story both inspiring and a little sad. Sad that your mother didn’t/couldn’t accept you for who you are, and inspiring that you hung on until you could leave her home. I have always read a lot and often have three or four books in progress at the same time. Paperbacks, ebooks on my Kindle, PDFs on my computer. My parents never monitored what I read, they were happy that I loved reading. If my father saw me reading a romance he would only ask why I read trash when there were so many wonderful classics. Thank you for telling us your story.
    I hope your holidays are joyful and peaceful.

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    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      So many of us grew up feeling ashamed of what we read. I wish more parents would give kids additional things to read instead of taking things away. An author I met (as a child) once told us, “Read. Read the backs of cereal boxes, if that’s what you like. Read Archie comics. Read what appeals to you, and eventually you will learn to like more complex things.” I agree.

      Like

      • Marybeth says:

        It’s surprising to me. As much as my mother is a prude, she never once tried to control what I read. Once I discovered inter-library loan, I was off! Move on to my kids, I had one natural reader and two I turned into readers. I supervise what they read until they were around 14-15. I didn’t care about the topic as much as I wanted to be able to put the story into perspective. I absolutely hate that they read the book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson in freshman English, not because of the topic, but because they don’t tell parents that they are reading it. If you haven’t read it, it’s about a girl going into ninth grade who is raped at a party. She is blamed for the police coming to break up the party, so she is ostracized. OK about all that,,,,,,,the part that bothers me is that this child goes from being an active, involved child to a recluse AND NO ONE CARES. Sorry, I’ll come off my soapbox now.

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      • Sarah Bennett says:

        Indeed, Ana! I agree on this. I got away from reading for so long but it’s so great to be back at it.
        I love the escape that reading provides. 

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      • ameliahfaith says:

        I would not even begin to know where to start….yes I would. Jessie Chandler has a mysteries series that plays down the lesbian characters and focuses on the “family” dynamic of her rowdy bunch and the mysteries to solve. its a nice way to slowly be introduced. anyone can just hit me up on FB and I will be more than happy to match them up with authors I think they would like.

        Like

  6. ruthshulman says:

    Thank you for all the recommendations! It’s nice to see a variety out there. While many people see the Classics (like “The Well of Loneliness”) it’s also heartening to know that there is much else to be read.

    This was a great addition to the Calendar!

    Like

  7. SH says:

    Very touching story! Thank you so much for sharing. And thank you for all the suggestions for good books, I am always in the market for a good book to read 🙂

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    • Nancy Heredia says:

      SH, thank you for taking the time to read it. It’s been a long time since I thought about what happened but clearly I never forgot it. The best part is that now I can indulge my passion for lesfic and be secure in the knowledge that no one is going to take these away from me.

      Like

  8. abby says:

    I read my first Lesfic last year…here…and i very much enjoyed it. Sharing your story is important…you never know who or should i say…how many….young and oldsters you will touch, and give hope to. Thank you for sharing, and for the book listings..
    hugs abby

    Like

    • Nancy Heredia says:

      Isn’t it wonderful Abby, that we can share the experience of discovery? Until last spring, I didn’t know lesfic existed or any idea how diverse it was.

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  9. nancygoldberglevine says:

    Wonderful, informative post! Thanks for sharing. I remember reading a scene in “Emily of New Moon” where Emily’s aunt burns the writing she’s done and your story about the books reminds me of that — very powerful.
    All the best to you!

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  10. sassytwatter says:

    Wow I know have a huge list of books to checkout. Loved your post. Amazing about your Aunt did you ever try to contact her after she mived?

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    • Nancy Heredia says:

      No I never did contact her. I had a chance once to see her again but chose not to take it, something I now regret a little. But I was so happy to know that she and her partner Naomi, shared a home for 30 years at least!

      Like

  11. Lara Estes says:

    My journey into lesfic started this year :-), I had always wanted to read these kind of books but feared the reactions I would get. I finally found the inner strength and dove in. The first book I read was “A journey Somewhere by Suzie Carr” and I fell in love. I really enjoyed your post and found the suggestions every helpful. I love reading books and I have my mother to thank for that as she was a librarian. That is why, like you, I feel complied to buy books over eBooks’, I just love the feel of them in my hand and the smell. Again thank you for sharing.

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  12. Tina S. says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing your story it had me in tears that you would have to go thru that. I grew up being taught it was wrong. And even though I don’t live the lifestyle, I have many friends that do. I love reading about it, mostly to have a better understand and to unlearn everything I was taught that I believe has always been wrong.

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  13. Mary M. says:

    Thank you for your story, Nancy. I feel very lucky that when my parents were aware of the books I was reading, they may have given me a quizzical look but they would never thrown out my books. I thank you so much for sharing your story and the amazing list of books to check out.

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  14. Chickie says:

    Thanks for sharing your story 🙂 People have such a hard time with the unknown, especially when it conflicts with both long held beliefs as well as your visions for the life your child will lead. My parents didn’t deal with it well but I was already such a horrid person in their eyes that it truly didn’t make much difference of their opinion of me to them. They were thankful when I officially “got over” my decade-long “phase” and married my husband.

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    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      It’s a sad story when parents can’t accept their children. I wish that more parents could understand that their children are who they are. Being who they are isn’t an attempt to be hurtful, but so many parents interpret it that way.

      Hugs.

      Like

  15. Tracey.Gee.393 says:

    Hi Nancy and THANKS for this for two reasons: One, your story which broke my heart (my sister came out last year and married her girlfriend.. we’re in Canada, and thankfully we were all very happyfor her). And TWO: I love to have lists for F/F romance because I want to make sure my site carries all sorts of romance, not just M/F or the usual M/F/M sandwich. This really helps me keep some balance on my site. Love shows itself in more ways than we can count. Thanks for posting. It was a lovely and touching read.

    Like

  16. Sarah Bennett says:

    Thanks for sharing your story and experience with lesfic.
    My journey just began in Oct 2013 reading and exploring this genre. I only came out in March if the same year, when I was 39. It has been just under two years of discovery for me and very enlightening, indeed. I feel like I know myself a bit better each day.

    Books by Ann Bannon and so many others have helped me discover who I truly am. I feel fortunate to live in a time when it’s much easier to find and obtain such excellent lesbian literature.

    Hope everyone has a great day. 🙂

    Like

  17. P.T. Wyant says:

    How sad that your mother threw the books away, and I totally understand your comment about it being like she threw you away too. Mothers can be cruel — often unintentionally — by not realizing how their words and actions are interpreted by their children. (My mother divorced my father when I was very young — under five years old. When I would do something that she really disapproved of she would say “You’re just like your father.” My interpretation was “I divorced him — I can kick you out of my life too.”)

    Anyhow, it’s really sad that you lost contact with your aunt, but it does sound as if she had a happier life away from “family.”

    Blessings!

    Like

    • Nancy Heredia says:

      P.T. it’s so ironic that of all of us in the family that were affected, it was my aunt and her partner that kept themselves together! it was a huge scandal at the time but they didn’t break up over it. I love it they stayed together!

      Like

  18. Sarah says:

    I am so happy for you that you can now read whatever you wish! Your Aunt’s story is a testament to love and commitment that many others can take inspiration from. I read a lot. I have a job which has a fair bit of ‘hurry up and wait’ time. Thanks for sharing your story and the list, my list of to be read has expanded!

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  19. Katie says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, Nancy. That must have been so painful to deal with your mother’s reaction- you were just a young girl, making it especially tough. What resolve and strength you had to come through it all as you have! I am glad that you had your aunt around for fun and acceptance through that tough period.

    I’m cheering you on with your growing collection of books in print, and am in awe of your wonderful list of resources that you have gathered and shared with others! Great post! Many hugs,

    ❤ Katie

    Like

    • Nancy Heredia says:

      Katie, thank you for your kind words, I truly believe the time I spent with my aunt is what gave me strength to prevail. I’m glad I had her in my life even for a short time, I remember her with love and affection. I just feel bad I stole her book and never gave it back!

      Like

  20. pieclown says:

    Thank you for sharing you story. I had some books tossed out to. The were not like yours. They were typical guy book, but they they had wet and messy (WAM) stories. I have tossed out some magazines a few times also. I am glad you now can buy, read, and write to you hearts content.

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  21. catrouble says:

    Thank you for sharing your touching story Nancy. I am so sorry that you and your sister were not supported and/or accepted by your mother…that is heartbreaking and so hard for you. I have not always agreed with decisions my kiddos make but I will always support them. Wishing you love and acceptance.

    Hugs and Blessings…
    Cat

    Like

    • Nancy Heredai says:

      Thank you catrouble, it was a tough time but I am so glad to know that Georgina and Naomi remained together while the rest of us went to pieces over it. That they shared a home together for more than 30 years is the best happy ending of all.

      Like

  22. Shannon Love says:

    Hi Nancy!
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It just made me wish I was your mom even though I wasn’t born until the mid-70’s. I just couldn’t be separated from my kids no matter what. I do understand a little about the culture and that time. I was very sad that you lost contact with your Aunt Georgina. Is there any way you could find her now?
    Your description was so clear that I could feel my heart being ripped out when your books were taken from you and destroyed. After all you had gone through to be the good girl you were expected to be then wrestling with your conscience to acquire something that would give you some joy just by yourself – so you could be yourself.
    I only hope the family you have chosen and built for yourself has all the love and warmth that you deserved all your life. I’m sure it was worth waiting for.

    Like

  23. Laurel Lasky says:

    Nancy, thank you for your touching story. My brother came to visit this weekend. He lives in California and I live in Florida. We we talking and I asked him how old he was when he knew that he was gay. He told me he was 6 years old and knew he was gay, at the time he didn’t have a name for what he felt but when he was older he looked it up. He was bullied in jr high and was beat up. Our father called him names like fag and queer but Mike blocked it out. Next to my husband Mike is my best friend and I’m very proud of him and his accomplishments. My first books about Lesfic were by Ana Vitsky and I was hooked, I have since read many more and learned more.

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  24. minelle says:

    I am sorry you had to find your way alone. Your mother was the loser in all of this. You sound like a wonderful woman. I am so glad you had the courage to continue your journey. It thrills me that you rebuilt your collection of books.

    I enjoy love stories including lesfic. For me it is about human interactions. Love is love. We should all be able to identify with the love that makes us whole!

    Like

  25. Kyra Tinker says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. I am sorry that you had to hide who you were from your family but happy that you discovered and understood early in life who you were. Many teens, young adults and even older adults struggle with being ” different”, but what is different? All of us are unique and special in our own way. What a dreary place it would be if all if us were exactly the same.

    I am happy that you are once again building your paperback collection. Now you don’t have to hide it but display it proudly, and read openly.

    Like

  26. Amy says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! I admit I don’t know much lesfic. I’m bisexual and genderqueer, which I’ve known since I was 13 but worked most of my life to suppress. Most of the queer lit I’ve read is m/m (and I even write it). My very first step into lesfic was when my sister recommended Nancy Garden’s “Annie on My Mind” (which I loved). I read several other YA novels, though none were really as meaningful. I’ve only just started to appreciate the wide world of lesfic. I’m looking forward to digging into that list and finding great stuff to read!

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  27. Anna Jones says:

    Thank you very much for sharing with us. That sounds terrible and I am sorry that you had to go through that. I am so sorry that you can be who you are now. 🙂

    I had something similar happen when I came out, only I was actually kicked out. I don’t understand how you can just throw away your children because they aren’t what you expected or wanted them to be.
    Thanks again for sharing!

    Like

  28. Marybeth says:

    I believe that the first lesfic books that I read were Ana’s. She led me to challenge the status quo in my house. I still prefer M/f, but I enjoy M/m and F/f as well.

    Like

  29. Roz Harrison says:

    Thank you for sharing your story Nancy, what a wonderful honest, heartfelt post. I’m so sorry that your mother was unable to accept who you are and that you became estranged not only from her, but your aunt. Sadly, a too familiar story. So sorry for the loss of your books also.

    Hugs
    Roz

    Like

  30. thelongbean says:

    Very touching story Nancy.
    It shows how much things have changed since the 60s. Even today, there are still parts of the world where there is still repression of sexuality with very severe consequences.
    Even today in the US, I understand, in certain areas being a lesbian could mean being ostracised from the mainstream society.

    Like

  31. pao says:

    That’s unfortunate that your mum never accepted you or supported your sister. But I’m glad you found that book in your aunt’s drawer and that your aunt moved on to live with her partner! How brave. Also, thank you for sharing this extensive list of lesfic! I never had the privacy to explore this as a child and my parents didn’t quite like it when we read fiction. Like a number of people here I really started discovering lesfic when I stumbled upon Ana’s blog.

    Like

  32. Jay says:

    I love hearing how other lesbians found their first books… thank you for sharing your story and I look forward to adding to my already huge list of books!!

    Like

  33. Nancy Heredia says:

    Thank you all so much for your warm words and kindness. If anyone feels inclined please friend me on Facebook. There are groups there devoted to lesbian literature and it is a good place for begineers to learn about the latest books and events. ALso please consider joining the Golden Crown Literary Society, an organization that is working to promote lesbian literature and culture. And of course a heart felt thank you to Anastasia who graciously allowed me a safe space to tell my story and share it with all of you. Blessings and hugs to you all.

    Like

  34. Ann Aptaker says:

    A magnificent story, Nancy, truly beaiutiful You paint vividl pictures with your words. I felt right there with you through your journey. And your explanation for buying print books instead of ebooks is magnificent.

    And thank you from the bottom of my heart for recommending my novel, Crimonal Gold. Bless you, from one native New Yorker to another.

    Ann

    Like

    • Nancy Heredai says:

      Thank you Ann! I was happy to recommend your novel Criminal Gold as I believe it is one of the best of 2014 and I am eager for newbies to discover it. Thank you for your kind words my fellow native New Yorker!

      Like

  35. ssaradaniel says:

    I’m chiming in late, and I’m also new to F/F. But I wanted to thank you, Nancy, for sharing your story and your perspective and giving voice to experiences that too often never get shared. The more these stories are shared, the more others can learn from them and grow to be more accepting of every human being. *Big hug*

    Like

    • Nancy Heredai says:

      Thank you ssaradaniel! One thing I was hoping for is that newbies get a real sense of fortunate we are now to have such a thriving lesfic community and how many more choices we have than when I was growing up.

      Like

  36. 1jennysmith says:

    Nancy, your story was mesmerizing. It was a powerful story told by someone who shows herself to be a talented writer, likely at least in large part due to all that wonderful reading! I liked your post so much that I read all the comments, and I noticed a few women who showed interest in lesfic identify as bisexual. Would you be interested in reading lesfic by women who identify as bisexual? What are your thoughts on that?

    Like

    • Nancy Heredai says:

      Thank you 1jennysmith! I do not consider myself a writer at all to be honest, this was just me talking about what happened and why my connection to lesfic is so strong. I do think of myself as an open minded person and I would love to explore more of the fiction women who love women are writing. I may have already read lesfic written by a bisexual woman-without knowing it so I am cool with it!

      Like

  37. michellewillms2013 says:

    I am a mother. I am heterosexual, but understand that one’s sexuality is predetermined. I hope my children never feel the need to hide who they are from me. I love them as they are, for who they are, and this includes everything they are. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is important.

    Like

    • Nancy Heredai says:

      Thank you michellewillms2013, sadly my mother’s generation and culture made it nearly impossible for her to accept me and I came to understand this, it didn’t help me feel better about what she did. Thank you for taking the time to read it and I appreciate your understanding. I hope your kids know how lucky they are.

      Like

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