Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue’s latest novel is Frog Music.

From the author's Q & A with Courtney Gillette of Lambda Literary (reprinted at Slate):

In the New York Times Book Review, you were recently asked about books that influenced you, and you said that it was Jeanette Winterson’s novel The Passion that “made [you] believe that fiction could feature a lesbian storyline and still be truly literary.”

You might say I was naive not to have realized this!

But that’s a revelation I completely identify with. I remember reading a lesbian memoir for the first time and realizing, “Oh! People will read about lesbians’ lives!” It hadn’t occurred to me until I was reading it.

Well, because so many of us, when we were first seeking out lesbian storylines, were doing it like desperate junkies, searching for something to relieve our needs! So it wouldn’t have occurred to us that this was a cultural product that other people would like to read. But also, when I first found lesbian books, usually imports from America, I bought any of them, all of them! And a lot of them weren’t that literary, but they hit the spot. They saved my life. They made me realize I could be a part of this world. But they seemed a different thing from literature. The Winterson was a real breakthrough for me. I also remember the first moment—and this might sound like a strange breakthrough—but I remember the first moment I went into a bookstore and there was a lesbian book, and I didn’t buy it. I thought, oh, I don’t actually need to buy that one! I’ll wait a buy a good one.

What a nice abundance of queer literature there is, that we can afford to discern our tastes among it.

Absolutely, and not feel so desperate for it that...[read on]
Visit Emma Donoghue's website.

--Marshal Zeringue