Meaker, Marijane (Vin Packer, Ann Aldrich)

Photo of Marijane Meaker in 2007.

Title

Meaker, Marijane (Vin Packer, Ann Aldrich)

Birth Date

27 May 1927

Birthplace

Auburn, New York

Occupation

Writer

Pseudonyms

Ann Aldrich, Laura Winston, M. E. Kerr, Mary James, Vin Packer

Biographical Text

Marijane Meaker has written under several pseudonyms: Vin Packer for thrillers under the Gold Medal imprint, Ann Aldrich for lesbiana and M.E. Kerr for young adult novels. As Vin Packer, she wrote Spring Fire in 1952 which was Fawcett Gold Medal's first lesbian paperback specifically intended to benefit from the success of Tereska Torres' Women's Barracks which Fawcett had published in 1950. The only restriction imposed on Meaker was that the novel could not have a happy ending lest it be seized by the Post Office as obscene. The sympathetic portrayal of a doomed affair between two sorority sisters ensured its popularity.

Meaker went on to write controversial studies on the nature of lesbianism and the role of advocacy groups such as the Daughters of Bilitis using the pseudonym "Ann Aldrich"; the editor-in-chief at Gold Medal had suggested something all-American "like 'Henry Aldrich', the kid on the radio show." 

We Walk Alone Through Lesbos' Lonely Groves by Ann Aldrich (1955), is described as "the first nonfiction book covering lesbianism as a whole written by a lesbian" [Meeker, p. 168]. Aldrich was censured for perpetuating negative stereotypes, hence initiating a contentious decade-long debate between Aldrich and the Daughters of Bilitis, a pioneer lesbian advocacy group and publisher of The Ladder. Aldrich continued along the same track in We, Too, Must Love (1958), Carol, in a Thousand Cities (1960), an anthology which included "The Ladder, Rung by Rung", her critical review of the DOB's publication , and in We Two Won't Last (1963). Please refer to Michael Meeker for a detailed account of this episode as representative of "the politics of communication".

Awards

Margaret A. Edwards Award, 1993

Sources

Kerr, M.E. "The Writing Life." Lambda Book Report, Vol. 7, No. 5, 1998. p. 12.
Meaker, Marijane. Highsmith: a Romance of the 1950s: a Memoir. Cleis Press, 2003.
Meeker, Michael. “A Queer and Contested Medium - The Emergence of Representational Politics in the ‘Golden Age’ of Lesbian Paperbacks, 1955-1963.” Journal Of Women's History, vol. 17, no. 1, 2005, pp. 165–188.

Wikipedia Entry

"Marijane Meaker." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marijane_Meaker. Accessed 17 March 2019.

Goodreads Entry

Profile Contributor

Terrence Paris

Item Relations

This Item Creator Item: Spring fire
This Item Creator Item: Evil friendship (The)
This Item Creator Item: We walk alone
This Item Creator Item: We, too, must love
This Item Creator Item: We two won't last
This Item Creator Item: Shockproof Sydney Skate
This Item Relation Item: Fawcett Publications

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Collection

Citation

“Meaker, Marijane (Vin Packer, Ann Aldrich),” The Lesbian Pulp Fiction Collection @ Mount Saint Vincent University, accessed December 1, 2022, https://msvulpf.omeka.net/items/show/835.