Synopses & Reviews
Annice, Pat and Barby are best friends from rural Iowa, freshly arrived in booming 1950s Chicago to explore different paths toward independence, self-expression, and sexual freedom. From the hip-hang of a bohemian lifestyle to the sophisticated lure of romance with a handsome, wealthy, married boss, to the happier but taboo security of a lesbian relationship, these three experience first-hand the dangers and limitations that await spirited young working girls who strike out on their own in a decidedly male-centered world.
An honest, explosive novel that turns conventional ideas of 1950s life and femininity upside down, The Girls in 3-B reveals in heart-breaking detail the hidden world of mid-century America, where women live on their own in seedy apartments, have premarital sex, get illegal abortions, yearn to be artists, experiment with drugs, and, if they are so inclined, discover a mannered, thriving lesbian underworld.
Valerie Taylor's focus on themes of class as well as gender and sexual identity provides an unusual perspective on the myth of the American Dream. With poverty never more than a paycheck away, the girls in 3-B inhabit a world in which their bodies are sometimes their only currency, and their artistic and career ambitions are limited by both their meager resources and the blatant sexism of their time. The characters in the novel are, surprisingly, far more self-aware and daring than most contemporary images of 1950s America and then offers a defiantly subversive alternative. A classic pulp tale showcasing predatory beatnik men, drug hallucinations, workplace intrigues, and secret lesbian trysts, The Girls in 3-B approaches the theme of sex from the stiffened vantage point of 1950s psychology.
"The book's insights into issues like sexual abuse, infidelity, the corporate glass ceiling, drug experimentation and sexual double standards are surprisingly modern....This is a refreshing entry for the genre, mercifully devoid of the moralistic and cautionary elements common in much 1950s pulp." Publishers Weekly
"Tough men, sex-crazed women, drugs, booze, homosexuality, and other wonderfully sleazy trappings of the genre....So bad, it's good." Library Journal
"A remarkable slice of Bohemia from the 1950s. Valerie Taylor gives 'pulp' a good name and weaves a wondrous tale of love, lesbianism, poetry, and sex around three young women who leave their small town for the allure of the big city." Judith Halberstam, author of Female Masculinity
"The Girls in 3-B will give you a sense of the dangers and delights of passion between women in another era....Valerie Taylor's much-loved story has achieved well-deserved classic status in the lesbian pulp canon." Ann Bannon, author of Odd Girl Out and The Beebo Brinker Chronicles
"A vivid and searching novel of young girls on the brink of womanhood, caught up in the cruel and tantalizing currents of big-city life," is how the original 1950s cover describes this classic reissue in the new Femmes Fatales: Women Write Pulp series. Featuring an early and positive portrait of lesbian love, this classic tale also features predatory beatnik men, drug hallucinations, and office romance.
Annice, Pat, and Barby are best friends from Iowa, freshly arrived in booming 1950s Chicago to explore different paths toward independence, self--expression, and sexual freedom. From the hip-hang of a bohemian lifestyle to the sophisticated lure of romance with a handsome, wealthy, married boss to the happier security of a lesbian relationship, these three experience firsthand the dangers and limitations of womens economic -reliance on men. Well-known lesbian pulp author Valerie Taylor skillfully paints a sociological portrait of the emotional and economic pitfalls of heterosexuality in 1950s Americaand then offers a defiantly subversive alternative. A classic pulp tale showcasing predatory beatnik men, drug hallucinations, and secret lesbian trysts, The Girls in 3-B approaches the theme of sex from the stiffened vantage point of 1950s psychology.
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.
A classic pulp tale showcasing predatory beatnik men, drug hallucinations, and secret lesbian trysts, "The Girls in 3-B" approaches the theme of sex from the stiffened vantage point of 1950s psychology.
Three small-town girls move to the big city in this reissue of a classic 1950s pulp.
About the Author
Valerie Taylor is the penname of Velma Young (1913-1997). The author of many novels, including lesbian classics Hired Girl, Whisper Their Love, Strander on Lesbos, World Without Men, Journey to Fulfillment, and Ripening, she began publishing in order to support her children after a divorce. She also published poetry under the name Nacella Young and romances under the name Francine Davenport. A longtime grassroots activist, she was cofounder of Mattachine Midwest and the Lesbian Writers Conference in Chicago.