Lesbian Self-Writing : The Embodiment of Experience book cover
1st Edition

Lesbian Self-Writing
The Embodiment of Experience

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ISBN 9781560231448
Published December 14, 2000 by Routledge
192 Pages

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Book Description

Join the process of self-discovery as lesbian writers redefine their roles in love, family, work, and society!

“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?” asked the poet Muriel Rukeyser. ”The whole world would split open.” The women represented in Lesbian Self-Writing: The Embodiment of Experience tell the truth about their lives, using many forms and levels of discourse. They split the world open with their powerful words and ideas about being a woman, a lesbian, a writer, a person of color, a child, a mother. These identities come vigorously alive in these pages, offering the reader new models humanity. The contributors celebrate the writerly “act” of creating a sense of self through finding one's own voice and creating community for others. Through political and literary analysis, they also provide ideas toward building a queer aesthetic.

Ranging from elegant expositions of critical theory to comfortable discussions of individual lives, the essays in Lesbian Self-Writing: The Embodiment of Experience represent some of the finest writers working today, including Kate Millett, Karla Jay, Mary Meigs, Jane Rule, and Maya Chowdhry. The authors’unsparing honesty and wise compassion break through the silence to celebrate individual empowerment and to share coping and survival strategies to help all women.

In Lesbian Self-Writing: The Embodiment of Experience, the particular interests, needs, and concerns of lesbian writers illuminate the common concerns of all women's lives, such as:

  • handling the conflicts of multiple identities and expectations: dyke versus lesbian, writer versus author
  • baking bread to reconnect with the past
  • using biomythography to understand oneself, the writing process, and other authors’work
  • redefining the family as something that can be created, not just endured
  • finding both community and uniqueness in shared experiences--dolls, food, Catholic confession, children, gardens, aging, gender
  • creating a sense of self through finding one's own voice

    Lesbian Self-Writing brings together works that focus on the elusive place where memory, language, body, experience, and deliberations on the practice and process of writing converge. In turns hilarious, moving, and painful, this anthology stands with the very best of writing about writing.

Table of Contents


  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Lesbians Loving Wor(l)ds: Communicating Acts
  • Writing Life
  • A State of Mind in the Garden
  • Voices in the Outer Room
  • k/not theory: a self-dialogue
  • To Grandmother's House I Go
  • Karla Jay: An Interview with Lynda Hall
  • Memories in Flesh and Marble
  • Writing My-Self-Body
  • A.D., A Memoir: Excerpts
  • Shani Mootoo: An Interview with Lynda Hall
  • The Truth About Writing/Writing About the Truth
  • Striving to Be Selfish
  • Mozart's Laugh
  • The Truth of Being
  • The Unfinished Moon
  • Why Writers Make Lousy Lovers
  • Nobody Ever Asked Me If I Had an Agent
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

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