"Are girls necessary?" asks Julie Abraham in this provocative study of 20th-century lesbian writing.
Examining the development of lesbian writing in English across the 20th Century, Abraham identifies a shift from this "romance" model to a more complicated "history" model. The great modernists, Woolf and Stein, as well as the popular writers of succeeding generations, like Mary Renault, looked to historical narratives, creating an important change in the way the "lesbian story" is built.
The possibilities in lesbian writing, from the early romance plots through to the post-1960s liberation movement experiments, are Abraham's geography. Within it, she offers detailed readings of major writers in several genres, from high modern to pulp, both British and American.
"Julie Abraham's Are Girls Necessary? focuses insightfully… and, through fresh and often innovative readings of several authors, she offers a new understanding of what it means to be a lesbian writer." -- Journal of Lesbian Studies
"Anyone with a poignant interest in lesbian writing--its history and ramifications in the literary world--will welcome the challenge presented in Abraham's studies." -- Lambda Book Report