Admission Accomplished : The Lesbian Nation Years, 1970-75 (High Risk Books)

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9781852424503: Admission Accomplished : The Lesbian Nation Years, 1970-75 (High Risk Books)

These essays, many of which appeared in her books Lesbian Nation and Gullibles Travels, break with convention and tackle social issues as current today as when they were written: coming out and "outing" public icons; gay marriage and monogamy; solidarity and betrayal between gay men and lesbians, and between straight feminists and lesbians; the men's movement and misogyny. Johnston was the first writer to come out in the mass media, and the only one to sustain this kind of exposure over a revolutionary span of time.

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Review:

As a contributor to the Village Voice in the 1970's, Jill Johnston was the first writer to come out as a lesbian in the mass media. Her 1973 book, Lesbian Nation, was a bible for militant feminists. This collection gathers more than seventy of the wildly inventive rants, reviews and diatribes Johnston wrote during that explosive era. What comes through in these writings is Johnston's fierce and iconoclastic intelligence. Her signature style of long, run-on, rarely indented paragraphs and the uncapitalized "i" suggest the frenzy of change that took place during the 1970's Women's Movement. Johnston was working to find an appropriate shape to express the ideas inherent in radical lesbianism. These essays play with notions of pop iconography in "Lois Lane is a Lesbian", new family structures in "Lesbian Mothers Ltd.," and undoing male artistic privilege in "Zelda, Zelda, Zelda." "The Wedding" includes a description of the lesbian marriage of contemporary classical composer Pauline Oliveros. In all of these essays, Johnston claims Gertrude Stein as her intellectual and stylistic forerunner. Hopefully, this collection will spark a reevaluation and appreciation of an important lesbian theorist and writer. --Rebecca Brown

About the Author:

Jill Johnston, art and cultural critic, is the author of Jasper Johns: Privileged Information, Secret Lives in Art, and several volumes of personal memoirs, including Gullibles Travels, Marmalade Me, and her revolutionary manifesto, Lesbian Nation. She lives in New York City.

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