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Curious Wine by Katherine V. Forrest: Ladies lovin' ladies

We don't talk about lesbian literature enough. Because in the grand scheme of things, there isn't a lot of it. But Curious Wine, originally published in 1983 by Naiad Press, was one of the bigger 1980s lesbian novels.

Katherine V. Forrest is mainly known for her lesbian detective series, starring policewoman Kate Delafield, but Curious Wine and An Emergence of Green are her big standalone novels.

This book is the gayest. A bunch of ladies sitting around a cabin, talking about Emily Dickinson. Then two of them lez out. Theeee end.

But for reals though, Forrest's books are very much of their time, and you've gotta take this book for what it is if you're going to enjoy it. If you read it in 2015, it comes off extremely dated and very reactionary to the culture of the time. Suffice it to say, in both of Forrest's standalone novels, there's an evil male and a rape scene that reaffirms one of the women's decision to be with another woman. it's not.

Reading LGBT books from before the last decade or so is a revelatory experience because you have these basically "Intro to Lesbianism" books where the main characters start out seemingly straight and then realize they're really, really into ladies. Because the authors were fighting so hard against societal ideas, room for subtlety is not there. 

There's a scene in Curious Wine where Diana, the main character, leaves the cabin in Lake Tahoe and goes to a local casino. She's upset about her feelings for Lane, the other woman, and promptly gets hit on by a man, who she seems to be attracted to. "Oh! They're gonna make her bi!" I said excitedly. But NOPE because he is the cause of the aforementioned rape scene and now she knows men are evil and women are really who you should be with.

This is one of my favorite lines:

And she lived in San Francisco, a city with many women who wanted other women.

Ahahahahahahaha. Excellent. This book is silly.


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