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New Lesbian Criticism: Literary and Cultural Readings
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New Lesbian Criticism: Literary and Cultural Readings (Paperback)

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The 1990s has seen the growing consolidation of lesbian and gay studies as a key area of cultural theory, particularly in relation to ideas about the construction of subjectivity and identity. Lesbian theory specifically intersects with feminism and sexuality/identity politics to critique both gender and (hetero) sexuality, while developments in lesbian criticism suggest a move towards a new textual practice. This volume explores whether there can be a specific lesbian aesthetic, juxtaposed against reading as a 'woman' or as a 'heterosexual'. Contributors both explore the uses of recent theories such as post-structuralism and offer a lesbian critique of such methodologies. Close readings of contemporary lesbian fiction and popular culture focus on works such as Zami, Oranges Are Hot the Only Fruit, The Wanderground and Desert of the Heart, as well as on lesbian pornography. Together the essays point to lesbian culture's ability to create new meanings for itself and to foreground the intertextuality of lesbian identities. This important book, which includes a reassessment of lesbian literary criticism by Bonnie Zimmerman, contributes to a new and growing field of critical theory.

Sally Munt is presently a lecturer in cultural studies and feminism at Brighton Polytechnic.

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