InVersions: Writings by Dykes, Queers and Lesbians

Description

275 pages
$15.95
ISBN 0-88974-036-4
DDC C814'.5408'0353

Year

1991

Contributor

Edited by Betsy Warland
Reviewed by Janet Money

Janet Money is Sports Editor of the Woodstock Daily Sentinel-Review.

Review

What is a lesbian writer? Who is her audience? How does naming herself
lesbian affect her writing? What about homophobia, sexism, racism,
classism? Definitive answers to these crucial questions are elusive, but
InVersions is an invaluable book that addresses them, through essays and
some poetry.

Questions of voice and appropriation of voice have been trendy topics
in the women’s writing community for a few years now, but there’s
more to this volume than that familiar debate. Jane Rule and Mary Meigs
insist that one must write one’s truth even if it means being rejected
or read by a small audience. Gloria Anzaldua, in a fascinating,
challenging essay, notes that while lesbians write for straight readers,
straight writers don’t write for lesbians. Anzaldua observes that even
the existence of the anthology is an attempt to classify the debate
about what is lesbian, dyke, and queer, an attempt she has reason to
question.

Sarah Schulman, one of the few writers in the collection being
published by a mainstream press, talks about the need for artists to do
political work, and the process of novel-writing. For her, it’s
collecting fragments in the form of sentences and phrases, then scenes
come slowly and erratically, then you connect them; in time there’s a
story. Others write about their coming-out process, both personal and
literary.

Reading writing about writing by writers is a writer’s dream come
true, but this is not just a writer’s book. Anyone who reads, and
particularly anyone who reads lesbian writers, will find this collection
of diverse voices and views fascinating.

Citation

“InVersions: Writings by Dykes, Queers and Lesbians,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 25, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/11343.