Underrated Lesbian Books

NewPages posted today about Curve Magazine’s “10 Most Underrated Lesbian Books,” which got me thinking about my book and how it is a lesbian book but resists such labeling. Only if a reader has read Written On the Body, and only if s/he maintains that the narrator in it is a woman, will s/he understand that the “you” in mine is an homage to Louise and is playing the same sort of narrative trickery. In any case, here are some other things I got to thinking about: Aren’t all lesbian books underrated? What makes a book a “lesbian book”? Will anyone read the books on Curve‘s list? Does the word “lesbian” turn people off (from reading)? Are the writers of these lesbian books lesbians themselves? And if this is the tradition then where do I fit in? Is this part of the reason these books are underrated–because only lesbians care to write about lesbians (and thus only lesbians want to read about lesbians)? In a woman-hating, man-loving world, here are people who embrace women, reject men (as lovers). Conversely, in this woman-hating, man-loving world, gay men reject women and embrace men (as lovers). I’m thinking that my point here has something to do with the publishing industry as a reflection of the woman-hating, man-loving world. I could stand to hold off on hitting “Publish” here, but I’ve got a student on her way for a consultation and maybe by the time I come back to this post you will have made the sense of it that I’m trying to. Help me out. Tell me that just because a book is a “lesbian book” it isn’t fated to being underrated.