James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Archives September 2010: Odd Girl In!

We are thrilled to announce the donation of the Ann Bannon Papers. Bannon is well known and loved for her pulp novels from the 1950s and 1960s: Odd Girl Out, Beebo Brinker, and Journey to A Woman to name just a few.

The Bannon Papers contain the unedited (original) carbon copy typescripts of each of her novels. A few were significantly revised and edited prior to publication by Fawcett Publications.

The Bannon Papers also contain the original contracts with Fawcett, correspondence with Barbara Grier and Naiad Press, publicity photos, newspaper clippings, writings by others about Bannon's novels, adaptations based on Beebo Brinker, and audio- and videorecordings of Bannon's interviews and public addresses. We expect future additions to the collection.

Because the Ann Bannon Papers are a very recent acquisition and not yet organized, they are not currently available for research. All Hormel Center archives are handled through the San Francisco History Center, 6th floor, Main Library. For questions, please contact the San Francisco History Center reference desk at 415-557-4567.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Basics & the Lighter Side of Lesbian Pregnancy

As a result of the baby boom in LGBT circles, books pertaining to queer reproduction have been flying off the shelves. These two,"Queering Reproduction: Achieving Pregnancy in the Age of Technoscience," by Laura Mamo and "Beyond Expectation: Lesbian/Bi/Queer Women and Assisted Conception," by Jacquelyne Luce offer concrete advice encompassing and surpassing fertility treatments, conception techniques and support groups. Mamo's book concentrates more on the psychological obstacles and cultural perceptions that lesbians must overcome while Luce's work gives more concrete advice in the legal/contractual sphere. Both books cover the fundamentals such as donor selection, fertility and insemination and both utilize the interview style. However, it should be noted that with regard to legal information, Luce is from Canada and Mamo is from the United States.

After consulting the books above, if you're looking for some lighter reading, or possibly a cautionary tale, "my miserable, lonely, lesbian pregnancy," by Andrea Askowitz is for you. It is a diary-style account of her pregnancy, loaded with biographical digressions. Her sardonic wit makes it a book worth reading, even by people who have zero interest in the female reproductive process. Askowitz with her whiny tell-all style could be the long-lost love child of David Sedaris and Sarah Silverman. She examines the detours and speedbumps of her childbearing odyssey with glib, introspective humor, exposing the inherent contradictions between the way things are and the way they "should" be.

Here is a video of her reading a passage from the book. And another one of Askovitz reading her short story called "Bound for Greatness." To the right is a photo of Askovitz in the throes of her pregnancy.