There’s something about same-sex love. For those who know its magic, it’s liberating when books and movies celebrate it. For the others, it’s an almost voyeuristic experience – to read about feminine bodies that curve into each other, to imagine what an orgasm with another woman would be like, to be intensely moved by a paragraph that describes a woman ensconced in another woman’s bosom, shedding tears that the rest of the world fails to understand.
In this list, we look at five books that celebrate same-sex love, particularly lesbian romance.
Liza and Annie are seventeen. Liza leads a sheltered life in Brooklyn Heights, cocooned in a private school. Annie’s school is rough, and so is her neighborhood. Through a series of events narrated by Liza, we walk with the two girls as they take slow, precarious steps through a growing friendship that ultimately transforms into a quiet, calming love. Annie and Liza find solace in each other – their love heals the pain of growing up. As they come of age, they find support from the unlikeliest of people – two teachers who truly understand the challenges that Annie and Liza are facing.
First published in 1982, this book has never been out of print since. Selected as one of the most influential books of the 20th century by the School Library Journal in 2000, this book was also burned in Kansas City in 1993 and removed from school libraries in some districts.
Therese Belivet is a young, bored assistant at a department store. Carol Aird is an elegant, blonde woman in a failed marriage. When Therese’s eyes meet Carol’s, Therese is unable to look away. There starts a relationship, the nature of which is completely new to Therese. Carol, however, has had a brief sexual relationship with her best friend, Abby, and knows the possibilities. On an impulse, they go on a road trip, when Therese discovers that she is deeply in love with Carol.
Celebrated by the LGBTQ community as one of the few lesbian-themed books with a happy ending, The Price of Salt, later published as Carol, is a beautifully written account of tender, same-sex love. In the manner in which she described the personalities of Therese and Carol, Highsmith chose to depart from the stereotypical description of lesbians in the 1950s and which still happens today in mainstream entertainment – with one partner having masculine characteristics and the other falling into a typical ‘feminine’ role.
Natasha and Varuna are roommates. Natasha is fascinated by Varuna’s lesbian relationships but resists getting closer to Varuna. Until one day, when she’s heartbroken after returning from her mother’s funeral.
More than Roommates is a tender portrayal of how love can heal, of how the intertwining of two female bodies can be cathartic, of how slow, gentle love between two women can set things right.
Nancy Astley is 18 years old. Kitty Butler is a male impersonator. When Kitty decides to leave for London, Nancy decides to join her. What follows is the story of a woman who is unabashedly in love with another woman, is deeply disappointed when the object of her desire chooses to take the socially accepted path, and ultimately finds true love.
Set in 1890s England, Tipping the Velvet is a raucous exploration of sexual identity and lesbian eroticism. The Library Journal chose it as one of the best books of 1999 and the New York Times included it on its list of ‘Notable Books of the Year’.
Srishti is married to Parth. Srishti discovers that Parth is having an affair and decides to confront the woman. An angry encounter quickly changes to a passionate night of sex between the women.
My Husband’s Mistress is a tongue-in-cheek narrative by a scorned woman who finds solace in the arms of the woman her man was sleeping with. By booting the man out of the story at the end, the story mischievously celebrates lesbian love.
This is a blog post by Sophia X. Her new novel ‘More Than Roommates’ is now available on Juggernaut app