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1 Hawthorne Gay and Lesbian- Lesbian Fiction

Women's Barracks

by

Women's Barracks Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Originally published in 1950, this account of life among female Free French soldiers in a London barracks during World War II sold four million copies in the United States alone and many more millions worldwide.

The novel is based on the real-life experiences of the author,Tereska Torres, who escaped from occupied France. She arrived as a refugee in London and joined other exiles enlisting in Charles de Gaulle's army, then stationed in Britain awaiting an invasion of their homeland by Allied forces.But Women's Barracksis no ordinary war story. The grim world of an urban military barracks became the setting for one of the steamiest novels of its time. Leaving "normal" civilian life behind, the women enter an all-female realm, where passionate attachments soon form — between older, experienced women and young innocents, between butch officer types and their femmes subordinates. And for those with more traditional leanings, there was a city full of soldiers to be had-sometimes two or three at a time.

As the Blitz rains down over London, taboos are broken,affairs start and stop and hearts are won and lost. Torres dutifully relates the erotic adventures of her comrades with an equal sympathy toward straight and gay relationships that was unusual for its time.

Despite a tone that is frank rather than lurid, Women's Barrackswas banned for obscenity in several states. It was also denounced by the House Select Committee on Current Pornographic Materials in 1952 as an example of how the paperback industry was "promoting moral degeneracy." But in spite of such efforts — or perhaps, in part, because of them — the novel became a record-breaking bestseller and inspired a whole new genre: lesbian pulp.

Review:

"From the Feminist Press's 'Femmes Fatales: Women Write Pulp' series comes this reissue of a long out-of-print 1950 classic, the 'first lesbian-themed pulp' novel. Translated from the French (though never published in France), this heavily autobiographical tale of life in the Free French Army women's barracks in WWII London is a delicious blend of sex and melodrama that manages to be sentimental without ever becoming mawkish or campy. It is, in fact, a moving and bittersweet tale of a tight-knit community of women, their loves and losses, hopes and despairs, with a charmingly modest salaciousness that runs through to justify its 'pulp' marketing. Truly, it is a more literary novel than the lurid original cover would have one believe-its many sexual encounters invariably veer from the promise of pornography to the achingly real, and often painful, emotional excavations of these women's lives. The edition includes an illuminating interview with the author and an afterword by Judith Mayne that nicely contextualizes the narrative as well as the book's curious publishing history. Kudos to the editors for bringing this lost classic back into print-it never should have left us in the first place. " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

The first lesbian pulp ever published which originally sold 4 million copies, portrays Free French women volunteers.

Synopsis:

Steamy, sensitive, and skillfully written page-turner was the first lesbian pulp--and a 4-million-copy bestseller.

Synopsis:

Originally published in 1950, this account of life among female Free French soldiers in a London barracks during World War II sold four million copies in the United States alone and many more millions worldwide.

The novel is based on the real-life experiences of the author, Tereska Torres, who escaped from occupied France. She arrived as a refugee in London and joined other exiles enlisting in Charles de Gaulles army, then stationed in Britain awaiting an invasion of their homeland by Allied forces. But Womens Barracks is no ordinary war story.

As the Blitz rains down over London, taboos are broken, affairs start and stop and hearts are won and lost. Womens Barracks was banned for obscenity in several states. It was also denounced by the House Select Committee on Current Pornographic Materials in 1952 as an example of how the paperback industry was “promoting moral degeneracy.” But in spite of such efforts—or perhaps, in part, because of them—the novel became a record-breaking bestseller and inspired a whole new genre: lesbian pulp.

From the obituary in the New York Times:

Tereska Torrès, 92, Writer Of Lesbian Fiction, Dies

Tereska Torrès, a convent-educated French writer who quite by accident wrote Americas first lesbian pulp novel, died on Thursday at her home in Paris. She was 92…

…It was not homophobia that caused Ms. Torrès to find her books canonical status peculiar. Quite the contrary, she said: because affairs with barracks mates were so much a part of ordinary wartime experience the hoopla seemed simply prurient.

“The book spoke very delicately about the few matters of sexual encounters,” Ms. Torrès told Salon.com in 2005. “But so what? I hadnt invented anything — thats the way women lived during the war in London.”

She added: “I thought I had written a very innocent book. I thought, these Americans, they are easily shocked.”

Femmes Fatales restores to print the best of womens writing in the classic pulp genres of the mid-20th century. From mystery to hard-boiled noir to taboo lesbian romance, these rediscovered queens of pulp offer subversive perspectives on a turbulent era. Enjoy the series: Bedelia; The Blackbirder; Bunny Lake Is Missing; By Cecile; The G-String Murders; The Girls in 3-B; In a Lonely Place; Laura; Mother Finds a Body; Now, Voyager; Skyscraper; Stranger on Lesbos; Women's Barracks.

About the Author

(1920-2012) Born in 1923, Torres escaped Nazi-occupied France in 1940 and became a secretary to Free French leader Charles DeGaulle in London. Over her long career, she wrote some 20 books, with translations published here by Knopf, Dell, Simon and Schuster. Torres married the American literary figure Meyer Levin during the war; he would later translate many of her novels, including By Cecile, which is now available from the Feminist Press as part of the Femmes Fatales series.

Judith Mayne is Distinguished Professor of French and Women's Studies at Ohio State University and author of six books on women's literature, film, and popular culture.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781558614949
Author:
Torres, Tereska
Publisher:
Feminist Press
Author:
Mayne, Judith
Author:
Torres, Torreska
Afterword by:
Mayne, Judith
Afterword:
Mayne, Judith
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - General
Subject:
Women soldiers
Subject:
Lesbian
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
London (england)
Subject:
War stories
Subject:
Gay and Lesbian-Lesbian Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Femmes Fatales: Women Write Pulp
Publication Date:
20050531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8 x 5 x 0.7 in 6 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Erotica » General
Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » Gay Fiction
Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » Lesbian Fiction
History and Social Science » Military » Weapons » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Microbiology
Science and Mathematics » Electricity » General Electronics

Women's Barracks Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Feminist Press - English 9781558614949 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "From the Feminist Press's 'Femmes Fatales: Women Write Pulp' series comes this reissue of a long out-of-print 1950 classic, the 'first lesbian-themed pulp' novel. Translated from the French (though never published in France), this heavily autobiographical tale of life in the Free French Army women's barracks in WWII London is a delicious blend of sex and melodrama that manages to be sentimental without ever becoming mawkish or campy. It is, in fact, a moving and bittersweet tale of a tight-knit community of women, their loves and losses, hopes and despairs, with a charmingly modest salaciousness that runs through to justify its 'pulp' marketing. Truly, it is a more literary novel than the lurid original cover would have one believe-its many sexual encounters invariably veer from the promise of pornography to the achingly real, and often painful, emotional excavations of these women's lives. The edition includes an illuminating interview with the author and an afterword by Judith Mayne that nicely contextualizes the narrative as well as the book's curious publishing history. Kudos to the editors for bringing this lost classic back into print-it never should have left us in the first place. " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , The first lesbian pulp ever published which originally sold 4 million copies, portrays Free French women volunteers.
"Synopsis" by ,
Steamy, sensitive, and skillfully written page-turner was the first lesbian pulp--and a 4-million-copy bestseller.
"Synopsis" by ,
Originally published in 1950, this account of life among female Free French soldiers in a London barracks during World War II sold four million copies in the United States alone and many more millions worldwide.

The novel is based on the real-life experiences of the author, Tereska Torres, who escaped from occupied France. She arrived as a refugee in London and joined other exiles enlisting in Charles de Gaulles army, then stationed in Britain awaiting an invasion of their homeland by Allied forces. But Womens Barracks is no ordinary war story.

As the Blitz rains down over London, taboos are broken, affairs start and stop and hearts are won and lost. Womens Barracks was banned for obscenity in several states. It was also denounced by the House Select Committee on Current Pornographic Materials in 1952 as an example of how the paperback industry was “promoting moral degeneracy.” But in spite of such efforts—or perhaps, in part, because of them—the novel became a record-breaking bestseller and inspired a whole new genre: lesbian pulp.

From the obituary in the New York Times:

Tereska Torrès, 92, Writer Of Lesbian Fiction, Dies

Tereska Torrès, a convent-educated French writer who quite by accident wrote Americas first lesbian pulp novel, died on Thursday at her home in Paris. She was 92…

…It was not homophobia that caused Ms. Torrès to find her books canonical status peculiar. Quite the contrary, she said: because affairs with barracks mates were so much a part of ordinary wartime experience the hoopla seemed simply prurient.

“The book spoke very delicately about the few matters of sexual encounters,” Ms. Torrès told Salon.com in 2005. “But so what? I hadnt invented anything — thats the way women lived during the war in London.”

She added: “I thought I had written a very innocent book. I thought, these Americans, they are easily shocked.”

Femmes Fatales restores to print the best of womens writing in the classic pulp genres of the mid-20th century. From mystery to hard-boiled noir to taboo lesbian romance, these rediscovered queens of pulp offer subversive perspectives on a turbulent era. Enjoy the series: Bedelia; The Blackbirder; Bunny Lake Is Missing; By Cecile; The G-String Murders; The Girls in 3-B; In a Lonely Place; Laura; Mother Finds a Body; Now, Voyager; Skyscraper; Stranger on Lesbos; Women's Barracks.

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