An edition of Rubyfruit Jungle | Public domain | 14295
2013 is the 40th anniversary of the pioneering novel Rubyfruit Jungle.
“Rita Mae Brown’s 1973 book was of course not the first to include lesbian and gay characters, whether closeted or open. But, at the time, it was unusual for a protagonist to be mostly candid and guilt-free about not being “straight,” even while facing various obstacles. Brown’s whip-smart, frequently hilarious Molly Bolt creation helped pave the way for other uncloseted lesbian and gay characters in subsequent decades — though these characters were sometimes stereotypical and too often supporting players rather than lead players,”
“Prior to Rubyfruit Jungle, a few other novels – such as Colette’s Claudine at School (1900), Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time (1913-1927), Gore Vidal’s The City and the Pillar (1948), James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room (1956) and E.M. Forster’s Maurice (published posthumously in 1971 but written much earlier) – were somewhat or very groundbreaking in their portrayal of gay or bisexual characters. But, for the most part, readers of certain pre-1973 books had to guess if characters were gay or bisexual, because authors risked a lot if they weren’t cautious in their literary pursuits and personal lives. Just ask Oscar Wilde.”
Rita Mae Brown | Public domain | 14296
Rita Mae Brown was born on November 28, 1944 and as well as becoming a famous writer and screenwriter, also took up political activism in the 1960s, becoming active in the American Civil Rights Movement, the anti-war movement, the Gay Liberation movement and the feminist movement.