Lesbian Panic

Lesbian Panic: Homoeroticism in Modern British Women's Fiction

Hardback Published on: 24/07/1997
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In many works by modern British women writers, two women form a strong bond only to have that relationship stymied, paralyzed or interrupted. A female character, fearing discovery of covert lesbian desires, lashes out at another woman, resulting in emotional or physical harm to herself or others. Patricia Smith defines this narrative as "lesbian panic". What happens when a character or an author is unwilling to confront or reveal her own lesbianism or lesbian desire? For Smith, lesbian panic is often a fear of losing one's identity and value within the heterosexual paradigm. Smith traces the history of "lesbian panic" through key works: Woolfe's "The Voyage Out" and "Mrs Dalloway"; Bowen's "The Little Girls" and "Eva Trout"; Brophy's "King of a Rainy Day"; Lessing's "The Golden Notebook"; and Spark's "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie". Smith reveals how and why this panic is represented and she explores how postmodern lesbian writers have attempted to break away from this narrative.

  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • ISBN: 9780231106207
  • Number of pages: 258
  • Weight: 500g
  • Dimensions: 244 x 154 mm

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