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Although Gordon is seen as embodying a tortured attitude toward her own sexuality, the novel presents lesbianism as natural and makes a plea for greater tolerance.
Though lesbian literature goes back to fifth century when Sappho of Lesbos penned poems depicting her love for other girls, lesbian-themed fiction began to be published only in the last century.
The tragic ending of this book is typical of lesbian pulp novels.
Because the books travelled through the mail and because anything sent through the U. Postal Service was subject to government censorship, publishers had to make sure that the books seemed in no way to proselytize homosexuality, which in the 1950s was generally thought to be either pathological or immoral or both.
Ann Bannon During the 1950s and ‘60s a distinctive sub genre rose in lesbian fiction and was known as lesbian pulp fiction.
This was characterized by sensationalism, graphic descriptions of lesbian sexual encounters as well as depictions of lesbianism in prison, the military and boarding schools.