Women in the shadows

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Title

Women in the shadows

Creator

Date

Description

Race passing and passing for straight underscore the interrelationship tensions among Laura, Jack, Beebo, and Tris in 1950s New York.

Printing location

Author Gender / Sexual Orientation

Publisher Type

Physical Dimensions

176 pages
18 cm

Protagonist's Status at the Beginning

Female Protagonists Meet or Introduced to the Reader

Reviews

Damon, Gene. "Woman in the Shadows" Ladder, vol. 4, no. 7, April 1960, p. 18.

The life of Laura Landon is now a trilogy. We met her first in Odd Girl Out, Fawcett, 1957, and then in I am a Woman, Fawcett, 1959. In this latest, and possibly last novel, the tone has changed from positive to negative, and the story begins and ends on an unhappy note for almost everyone concerned.

The time is two years after Laura and Beebo have begun living together. Laura is unhappy and dissatisfied while Beebo is still very much in love. Laura meets a dancer Tris and tries a little casual sex, but this fails. Her male friend, Jack, has lost his lover, so he is unhappy too.

Laura leaves Beebo and forms a platonic marriage with Jack.  After much trial and trouble, tears and tribulation, it seems almost possible that Laura and Jack will be able to make a purely mental marriage work out. Beebo is left broken in spirit and permanently aged by Laura's desertion of her. Interestingly, the focus is shifted in this novel in one way. Laura is still the protagonist, but Beebo is the heroine.

This Book is Discussed in

Moore, M. A. (2019). ‘A Boy inside It’: Beebo Brinker and the Transmasculine Narratives of Ann Bannon’s Lesbian Pulp. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian & Gay Studies, 25(4), 569–598.
Walker, L. (2001). Looking like what you are: Sexual style, race, and lesbian identity. NYU Press.

NODL Evaluation Report

"I think youth should not read a book as morbid or unscientific about homosexuality as this one. It is very unwholesome. It might lead some of them to try it- or consider 'queers' decent citizens. There is too much profanity in it- and God's name is used as a swear word. Factual, however, and a new vocabulary, such as the use of the word 'gay', which in the book means a homosexual."

More information about contested books

Contested in the U.S.A and Canada by the National Organization for Decent Literature.

Cover, Front Text

Ann Bannon. Author of I am a Woman. Women in the Shadows. “Their dark and troubled loves could flourish only in secret” ~ Front Cover

Cover, Back Text

"A guarded look across the room. That was all she dared do, and this was Greenwich Village where almost anything goes . . . She was a slim lovely girl with silky hair and a shy sweet smile. She had learned long ago she could never love a man – that only another woman could excite her. And Laura found the strange sloe-eyed girl exciting. But did she belong to Laura’s secret world or would she shrink away from the first tentative smile the first meeting of hands?" ~ Back cover

Cover Art Description

Over a dark pink background, two figures are seen to the bottom-right of the cover. One figure depicts the face of a redhead, head tilted to her right and slightly bowed, looking straight out at the reader with a serious expression. The other figure depicts, in complete shadow, the silhouette of the head in profile of another woman she partially covers and whose lips are slightly parted. The light is hard light that comes from the front-right of the image.

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Cover Art Clothing and Fashion

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Item Relations

Item: Fawcett Publications Publisher This Item
Item: Weldy, Ann (Ann Bannon) Creator This Item

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Comments

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Citation

Bannon, Ann, “Women in the shadows,” The Lesbian Pulp Fiction Collection @ Mount Saint Vincent University, accessed February 2, 2023, https://msvulpf.omeka.net/items/show/556.