Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013, March 16, 1984, Page 11, Image 11

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Escapist novels
make good reading
The Cruise, by Paula Christian
The Love Boat was never like this! Imagine
an all lesbian cruise from Los Angeles to
Acapulco. Paula Christian has written an ab­
sorbing fictional novel about women who
love women on a cruise that they will never
forget The cast of fifteen among two
hundred passengers will delight many read­
ers with their promiscuity and righteous vir­
herself. Bemie, the bartender, a bull dyke
through and through. She was always there
for Erika in the old days, but people change
after twenty years. And then there was
Margaret, a senior citizen finally out of the
closet since all of her children had grown.
Some of the women on the cruise come to
grips with their own expectations of love,
while others realize their inability to accept
others. Without being trash this is a wonder­
ful escapist novel. It weaves a simple and
entertaining story about a floating micro­
cosm of lesbians on a holiday voyage to
woman’s courtship and passion. The last
chapters hold unusually arousing episodes
for your average lesbian love tale.
— reviewed by Sarah Koehl
Daughters of a Coral Dawn, by Katherine V
tues. Each one boarded the ship with pre­
conceived notions of what a lesbian was, and
each left learning something about our
Felice, 34, had always wanted to travel, but
the occasion had never seemed appropriate.
Seeing an ad for an all lesbian cruise she
made reservations on an impulse. She later
had second thoughts when a friend of hers
told her that the only lesbians fool enough to
take such a cruise were militant, rub-it-in-
your-face lesbians who carried cigarette
packs rolled up in their shirt sleeves. Lynn, a
sex-obsessed new York model. Donna,
sincere and caring, yet committed to her
lover, Sandy. Erika, late with a book deadline,
she was only writing for a lover, while sailing
through a midlife crisis and needing to find
Katherine v Forrest is a new lesbian novel­
ist who has been overlooked by many read­
ers. Her first novel Curious Wine, written in
1983, is a candidly erotic and romantic tale of
two women finding love. Daughters o f a
Coral Dawn, her newest novel, is an excel­
lent work, one of the best lesbian science
fiction to be written in 1984.
Like Charlotte Gilman’s Herland, Joanna
Russ’ The Female Man, and Rochelle Sin­
ger’s The Demeter Rower. Daughters o f a
Coral D aw n uses the theme of a female
(lesbian) utopia. Forrest has developed an
entire society created and governed by wo­
men, but what is different and arresting about
this story are the outsiders who enter their
world. Ship-wrecked, three humans, two
men and one woman, find themselves
among the Vernan Amazon Nation. The earth
woman falls in love with the heir to the Vernan
throne and learns the secrets of her andro­
gynous captors. Forrest introduces two
themes that are persistent elements in les­
bian science fiction. The need for inner sup­
port and autonomy and the need to be a
separatist nation without men.
Lesbian science fiction allows women writ­
ers unlimited freedom in both setting and
plot The need for escapist literature is tre­
mendous in our society since we are continu­
ously bombarded by violence against
women in our everyday lives.
Readers who enjoy the sensual side of les­
bian literature will also delight in the earth
England. (Jse of the farmhouse has been
offered as partial payment of a debt to Cyn­
thia’s husband. He remains behind to clear
up some work so Cynthia, Angela, and
Cynthia’s two children, travel on to the
They are not there long before two women,
Abigail and Martha, lovers from the past, be­
gin to live their story through Cynthia and
Angela. It is through this possession that they
are finally free to love and be together in
peace at last.
This is their story, Martha's and Abigail's,
Angela’s and Cynthia's, but it is also the story
of all who have dared to love differently.
— Reviewed by Marty Conway
Old & new used books
Burning, by Jane Chambers.
Originally published in 1978 as The Burn­
ing. this book has resurfaced following the
death of Jane Chambers in 1983.
Bum ingis a step into the past, into an era
of puritanical terror and witch hunts. The
story actually takes place in the 20th Century
when two women, Cynthia, a mother and
wife, and Angela, the children’s babysitter,
take a vacation to an old farmhouse in New
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