Tender Heroes and Twilight Lovers: Re-Reading the Romance in Mass-Market Pulp Novels, 1950–1965

Christine V. Wood*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

In mid-century popular presses published paperbacks about lesbians, gay men, and characters with male and female lovers.  Barbara Grier was the first to catalog novels featuring lesbian subplots by classifying stories based on the extent and style of lesbian content.  I perform a content analysis of 49 novels, motivated by these questions:  How did novels with lesbian and gay characters differ from heterosexual romances?  What do differences reveal about cultural understandings of love, gender, and sexuality?  I find uniformity in the structural logic of novels.  However, there are different narrative strategies, and protagonists’ gender and sexuality predict a novel's trajectory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-392
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Lesbian Studies
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 5 2014

Keywords

  • gender
  • popular culture
  • representation
  • romance
  • sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies

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