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Set in the nineteenth century, Isabel Miller's classic lesbian novel traces the relationship between Patience White, an educated painter, and Sarah Dowling, a farmer, whose romantic bond does not sit well with the puritanical New England farming community in which they live. Ultimately, they are forced to make life-changing decisions that depend on their courage and their commitment to one another. First self-published in 1969 in an edition of 1,000 copies, it garnered increasing attention to the point of receiving the American Library Association's first Gay Book Award. Patience & Sarah is a historical romance that was a touchstone for the burgeoning gay and women's activism of the late 1960s and early 1970; it celebrates the joys of an uninhibited love between two strong women with a confident defiance that remains relevant today. This edition features an appendix of supplementary materials, as well as an introduction by Emma Donoghue, whose numerous books include Stirfry, Hood, and Life Mask, which was shortlisted for a 2005 Lambda Literary Award and the Ferro-Grumley Award.
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Nearly thirty years ago, when Patience and Sarah first came into the world, it was a very rare book, indeed -- the story of the love between two women, not only issued by a mainstream publisher but with a happy ending, yet! Isabel Miller based her novel on what little is known of the folk painter Mary Ann Willson and her companion, Miss Brundidge, who lived and farmed together for many years in New York State's Greene County in the early part of the nineteenth century. It's a tender tale that unfolds gently as the two women recognize and marvel at the love that has unfolded in their lives. Times have changed, and similar stories are routinely published today by houses large and small. But every once in a while, I come across my original, very battered, copy of the very first Fawcett Crest edition on my shelf. And, incurable romantic that I am, I remember what it was like to read Patience and Sarah for the first time -- and to dream. I'm pleased to know that this lovely tale is still in print, all these years later, for an entirely new generation of young lesbians to discover.From the Inside Flap:
nineteenth century, in a puritanical New England town, two women fall in love. With no one to guide or support them, Patience and Sarah try to follow their hearts. Defying society and history, they buy a farm and discover they can live together, away from the world that had sought to limit them and their love . . .
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