I don’t read biographies generally, preferring fiction to non-fiction. However, I’ve just finished a biography that was every bit as fascinating as any romance. I read it as avidly as I would a gripping novel.
I knew the name as I have read a good number of books published by Naiad Press in the past. However, this book provides a valuable history lesson as well as an insight into the life of a fascinating woman. Her dedication to promoting lesbian written work was formidable. And at a time when coming out was dangerous.
The biographer, Joanne Passet, has a lot of material to draw from, as her subject was a consummate letter writer and, fortunately, an assiduous archivist.
It makes me wonder what biographies in the future will look like…a trawl through Facebook memes and tweets, perhaps.
Reading this book I realised I had also read Jane Rule’s autobiography, so it was interesting to meet her again through her friendship with Barbara Grier.
I have read two biographies of Virginia Woolf – one written by Quentin Bell and another by Hermione Lee, as well as the letters between Virginia and Vita Sackville-West.
With other writers, like Ursula K LeGuin and Doris Lessing, I have read some of their collections of essays and talks.
All amazing people and a reminder that women’s stories need to be told, their voices need to be heard. As the recent film, “Hidden Figures”, demonstrates…too many times female achievements are pushed into the background or claimed by male counterparts. It happened in the past and is still happening today.
Anyway, if you are interested in a history of lesbian publishing as portrayed in Indomitable, I can recommend it. (And it’s worth the price of the book for the inclusion of a photo with a youthful Lee Lynch!)
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