Tag Archives: lesbian literature

Out There!

Reading our preview copy of out there on the Glasgow to Edinburgh commuter train!

Reading our preview copy of out there on the Glasgow to Edinburgh commuter train!

Out There brings together work from over 25 writers – some professional and some very good not-professionals, united in a shared sense of both queer-ness and Scottish-ness. The unique interactions between these two identities are central to  each work included in this anthology.

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Love Substitutes

This week we interviewed the fabulous Kirsty Logan about her book ‘The Rental Heart’, her experiences being a queer author writing queer stories, and what the road to success looks like, sharing some top-tips for early-career publishing!

Kirsty Logan Mirror

Photo cedit: Monkeytwizzle

Me: So Kirsty, you’re a published author, which is awesome!

Could you tell us a little bit about your journey to this point: how you got here, how you got started, and how you became successfully published?

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The Paying Guests

Growing up Tipping the Velvet on the TV was some of our first glances into lesbian life. Sarah Waters tells us about her new novel ‘The Paying Guests’, which takes us on a journey with two very ordinary women in 1920’s South London lodgings, ultimately ending in tragedy.

Out tomorrow! I hope you are as excited as we are….

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Are you a rubbish lesbian?

I am the definition of a rubbish lesbian.

When I say this what I really mean is an invisible lesbian, entirely undetectable to the rest of my fellow queers. I somehow donned this annoying invisibility cloak around the age of 18 when I got rid of my skate trainers, baggy jeans and hoodies and opted for some high heels and lipstick.

My newfound confidence in dressing as I wanted to dress had the inconvenient by-product of making me vanish into the wallpaper in queer spaces. I’ve been told that a club “didn’t do hen parties” when heading out with a group of fellow femme gays, I’ve been asked if I was lost on nights out, I even had a stand-up row with a nurse who insisted that even though I’d only slept with women there was a chance I might still be pregnant (back to Anatomy 101 for her!).

Annoying to say the least! So when I saw this title pop up in a sidebar on a particular website (see those ads are good for something!) I immediately wondered where it had been all my life…

rubbish lesbian

This is what a happy Sunday looks like!

This book is a compilation of Sarah Westwood’s ‘Rubbish Lesbian’ columns in Diva magazine with some exclusive new material (all together now: ooooo!). As someone who hasn’t read Diva in a while, it was all new material to me and I was intrigued!

 

Now to be honest, I was expecting a slightly more… well… finished article! The book was literally a collection of her columns –  which don’t get me wrong, was exactly what it said on the tin! It was just that I had expected that the columns might have been reworked into slightly longer prose or perhaps even into a series of short-but-longer-than-columns articles…I expected slightly smoother transitions from story to story, but instead they felt as if they had been lifted directly from the pages of Diva and transplanted directly into this book, meaning that for me it was a rather jolty read. The columns are so short (on average two pages give or take) which gives a rather superficial introductory feel to all her writing not really getting to the heart of the issue, or resolving anything.

 

I think that this is particularly disappointing because the topics Westwood covers are interesting, familiar even. They feel like a conversation that I could have had with any of my friends, but with nothing much added by the fact I had to part with some of my hard-earned-cash for the privilege. From the lesbocism (a process of desexualising your lesbian life for the benefit of family, or particularly delicate friends) to negotiating the relationship with your girlfriend’s parents. From answering questions from idiots like “who’s the man”; to the embarrassment of first entering a sex shop (although I think her suggestion of ‘smash and grab’ has a one in a million probability of you leaving with something you actually want and instead you will inevitably leave with a penis extender or something equally unhelpful – either embrace the awkwardness, or shop online!).

For a fun, light laugh or a quick read when you’re not up for thinking, or feeling too much it’s great! But if you’re looking for something that might develop or challenge your thinking then this is not for you! Thank you Sarah Westwood for a quick distraction on a long plane ride!

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