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5 best women's books

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These five books were written by lesbian authors considered influential, formative, and/or critical in the history of lesbian literature. The list covers fiction, memoir, and autobiography from the 20th and 21st century. One author is a well-regarded writer of books for young adults. The list is not inclusive. The titles selected are available in the Dauphin County Library System.

NUMBER 1

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

This 1982 book for young adults is about the romantic relationship between two 17-year-old girls and has been included in the School Library Journal in 2000 as one of the top 100 most influential books of the 20th century.

NUMBER 2

Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein

This 1933 work was written in the guise of an autobiography by Stein’s partner, Alice Toklas. The Modern Library ranked the work as one of the 20 great English-language nonfiction titles of the 20th century.

NUMBER 3

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

Originally released as a graphic memoir, and later made into a musical, this 2006 title chronicles the author’s childhood and growing up in Pennsylvania as well as her relationship with her father. Bechdel is best known as the author of the comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For, and the book deals with gender roles, sexual orientation, suicide, emotional abuse and dysfunctional family life. Fun Home melds two genres that of comics and memoir. The book garnered notoriety by being on the New York Times Best Seller List, and the musical won the New York Drama Critics’ Award for Best Musical and the Tony Award for Best Musical 2014-2015.

NUMBER 4

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters

Waters is of Welsh decent, and the Night Watch is the winner of the 2007 Lambda Literary Award and was short listed for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2006. Except for one novel, The Little Stranger, all her books contain lesbian themes.

NUMBER 5

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

The American born novelist and short story writer, Highsmith published under the pseudonym of “Claire Morgan”. She is credited in this published work of 1952 for writing the first lesbian novel with a happy ending.