The Girls in 3-B

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Categories: Gay Fiction
Publisher: SRS Internet Publishing/Digital Vintage Pulps | Date published: 04/15/2011

Description


Three young women--best friends since childhood--left their small Midwestern home town and moved to Chicago. They came to the city fascinated, frightened--hungering after life with that desperate, headlong impatience of the very young. There was Annice? bright, curious, full of untried passion. She let Alan drag her into his beat-generation world of parties, jazz, booze, marijuana and sex. Pat was big and blonde and built for love, but she was saving herself for marriage... until she met her boss. Right from the beginning Pat knew she would do anything for him--anything. Then there was Barby? she was the most vulnerable. Men terrified her and for a good reason. When she finally fell in love, it was with a woman.

"This is a wonderful apartment," said Barby. Her first drink was beginning to relax her.

Ilene smiled at the young girl's delighted approval. "Yes," she agreed. "That's why I hate to sublet it. But it's too big for me alone."

Barby took a long sip of her drink. "Can't you find someone to share it?" She tried to make her voice casual.

"It would have to be someone special," Ilene said in her low, caressing voice. "Someone who meant a lot to me personally."

Barby began to tremble with excitement.

Ilene looked at Barby with that long straight look that had melted her heart the first day they'd met in the big store. "You're very young," she said gently.

"Not that young," whispered Barby.

"You probably don't even know what I'm talking about."

Barby reached over and took Ilene's cool, strong hand into her own and pressed it against her face. "Yes, I do," she whispered. "I've known for a long time."

Valerie Taylor, has painted a beautiful and honest portrait of the emotional and economic realities faced by single women of the time period. Perhaps more importantly, Taylor's treatment of the lesbian relationship between Barby and Ilene is tender and sweet, lacking the emotional trauma and retribution so common in lesbian pulp novels of the day. And, in rejecting that common practice of forcing lesbian characters to suffer devastating consequences as a result of their love, Taylor allows the reader to enjoy the knowledge that Barby may have found a relationship that will be good for her.

The Girls In 3-B is a vivid and searching novel of young girls on the brink of womanhood, caught up in the tantalizing currents of big-city life in the 1950s.

About Lesbian Pulp Fiction:

In the early 1950s new sub-genres of the vintage paperback pulp novel industry emerged--science fiction, juvenile delinquent, sleaze, and lesbiana, for instance--that would tantalize readers with gritty, realistic and lurid stories never seen before. Mysteries, thrillers and hardboiled detective pulps were already selling quite well. Publishers had come to realize, however, that sex would sell even more copies. In a competitive frenzy for readers, they tossed away their staid and straightforward cover images for alluring covers that frequently featured a sexy woman in some form of undress, along with a suggestive tag line that promised stories of sex and violence within the covers. Before long, books with these sensational covers had completely taken over the paperback racks and cash registers. To this day, the "good girl art" (GGA) cover art of these vintage paperback books are just as sought after as the books themselves were sixty years ago.

With the birth of the lesbian-themed pulp novel, women who loved women would finally see themselves--their experiences and their lives--represented within the pages of a book. They finally had a literature they could call their own. For lesbians across the country, especially those living in small towns, these books provided a sense of community they never knew existed, a connection to women who experienced the same longings, feelings and fears as they did--the powerful knowledge that they were not alone. We are excited to make these lesbian pulp novels available in ebook format to new generations of readers.