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Looking Like What You Are : Sexual Style, Race, and Lesbian Identity - Lisa Walker

Looking Like What You Are

Sexual Style, Race, and Lesbian Identity

Paperback Published: 1st April 2001
ISBN: 9780814793725
Number Of Pages: 301

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Looks can be deceiving, and in a society where one's status and access to opportunity are largely attendant on physical appearance, the issue of how difference is constructed and interpreted, embraced or effaced, is of tremendous import.

Lisa Walker examines this issue with a focus on the questions of what it means to look like a lesbian, and what it means to be a lesbian but not to look like one. She analyzes the historical production of the lesbian body as marked, and studies how lesbians have used the frequent analogy between racial difference and sexual orientation to craft, emphasize, or deny physical difference. In particular, she explores the implications of a predominantly visible model of sexual identity for the feminine lesbian, who is both marked and unmarked, desired and disavowed.

Walker's textual analysis cuts across a variety of genres, including modernist fiction such as "The Well of Loneliness "and "Wide Sargasso Sea, "pulp fiction of the Harlem Renaissance, the 1950s and the 1960s, post-modern literature as Michelle Cliff's "Abeng, "and queer theory.

In the book's final chapter, "How to Recognize a Lesbian," Walker argues that strategies of visibility are at times deconstructed, at times reinscribed within contemporary lesbian-feminist theory.

Industry Reviews

"Libraries serving upper-division undergraduates and graduate students should acquire this work."


Prefacep. xi
Introduction: In/visible Differencesp. 1
Martyred Butches and Impossible Femmes: Radclyffe Hall and the Modern Lesbianp. 21
Debutante in Harlem: Blair Niles's Strange Brotherp. 58
Lesbian Pulp in Black and Whitep. 103
Strategies of Identification in Three Narratives of Female Developmentp. 139
How to Recognize a Lesbian: The Cultural Politics of Looking Like What You Arep. 182
Epiloguep. 211
Notesp. 215
Works Citedp. 251
Indexp. 267
About the Authorp. 281
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780814793725
ISBN-10: 081479372X
Series: Cutting Edge: Lesbian Life & Literature (Paperback)
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 301
Published: 1st April 2001
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.75
Weight (kg): 0.45

Earn 80 Qantas Points
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