Monday, August 8, 2011

Paperback 446: Take a Lesbian to Lunch / Ann Aldrich (McFadden Books 125-118)

Paperback 446: McFadden Books 125-118 (PBO, 1972)

Title: Take a Lesbian to Lunch
Author: Ann Aldrich
Cover artist: uncredited

Yours for: $300


Best things about this cover:
  • I've written briefly about this book before. Searching for that post led me to this thread, which quotes my original discussion of the book, and features a reply from The Author Herself. I learned about this just this second. I Heart The Internets. Discussion was about the term "lipstick lesbian," which suggested might have been "coined" by this book; that's probably not true, but the author suggests she might have been the first to use the phrase in print.
  • It's not a very vivid cover, sadly, but I love the weird title and the Lipstick on the (Lesbians'?) cigarettes.
  • Oh, this book is super-rare, in case the suggested dollar value didn't tip you off. There's one on amazon for $200 something. I priced mine off the ABE Books listings. The book is no longer available from ABE Books. Insider's look at gay New York in the aftermath of Stonewall by an excellent writer = cultural gold.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Did people used to think lesbians were mythical? Like sylphs or unicorns or yeti?

Page 123~

"Surely it is the nature and quality of a relationship that matters; one must not judge it by its outward appearance, but by its inner worth. Homosexual affection can be as selfless as heterosexual affection, and therefore we cannot see that it is some way morally worse..." [—from "Toward a Quaker View of Sex," an essay signed by 11 British Quakers, first published in London in 1963]

Not all of this book is so earnest, I assure you. The more anecdotal parts of the book are often entertaining, touching, vivid, and sometimes very funny.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]


JamiSings said...

Well, didn't one of the queens of England (I think it might have even been Victoria) express doubt that lesbians existed? I do know one of them was perfectly willing to accept that some men preferred to have sex with other men, but refused to believe there were women who only liked to have sex with women.

borky said...

Maybe you have to have the same kind of diseased and twisted mind I have to look at those two cigarettes on the cover and see them for the many forms of polyamourous perverted filth they're clearly intended to represent; but since you DO have just such a depraved mind, Rex - WHAT HAPPENED!

Brian Busby said...

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar... but two smoking hot cigarettes? Titillating.

Graham Powell said...

Like sylphs or unicorns or yeti?

Myth? Name me any large American city, and I'll name you the local yeti bar.

On a more serious note, Ann Aldrich is Marijane Meaker, right?

Dave M said...

Is "Manhattan's East Side... to Greenwich Village..." like "running the gamut from A to B"? Aren't there any lesbians worth studying outside that 2-mile radius?

Lisa in Oz said...

ADORE this cover. You're totally right that it's not very vivid, but it's so clean and graphic and those cigarettes are some kickass cultural shorthand. (((Love.)))

Todd Mason said...

Graham, you're correct...Ann Aldrich is one of Marijane Meaker's pseuds, to go along with M. E. Kerr and Vin Packer.

Still say that she and Patricia Highsmith made one of the most impressive lesbian couples ever.

pious agnostic said...

I don't get it. I mean, the cover is interesting, but where's the mocking, satirical wit?

No love for the steaming crotch those two cigarettes make?

Anonymous said...

@mr - Clearly there's love for that, but a love that dare not speak its name.

borky said...

@Graham Powell:

Man, was I getting confused! For a second there I read you as saying "ALAN ALDA is Marijane Meaker, right?" and I thought - woh! - talk about stumbling against Steppenwolf's door and plunging into a whole other world even the Twilight Zone never knew was there!

borky said...

@Lisa in Oz: "those cigarettes are some kickass cultural shorthand."


In fact that ass's been so kicked - as well as having just about everything else possible done to it - it's got smoke coming out of it!