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The Girls Next Door

Lesbian women, with voices often less heard, are given a platform in this witty and insightful landmark book from journalists Lindsy Van Gelder and Pamela Robin Brandt.

Long misperceived as a separatist coven, a default option, or a sort of ladies' auxiliary to the gay men's movement, lesbian life has achieved a new visibility in the past few years. But for all the interest in who's out and who's not (yet), there's been surprisingly little understanding of the diversity and richness of lesbian experience.

This funny, lively, and perceptive book will change all that. Drawing on more than a hundred interviews with women around the country, and on their own keen wits and eyes, Van Gelder and Brandt have composed an unprecedented portrait of how gay women today—lipsticked and flannel-shirted alike—think, feel, love, and live. Three major "tribal" events—the long-running Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, "Dinah" (the annual Dinah Shore Golf Tournament and party circuit, a mecca for upwardly mobile luppies), and a cross-country trek with the activist Lesbian Avengers en route to the 1994 Stonewall commemoration—provide points of entry into an exploration of lesbian identity, social dynamics, and politics that's as entertaining as it is revealing. The result is a kaleidoscopic portrait that will resonate with lesbians themselves and reveal to their "neighbors" a world of unsuspected vibrancy and depth.

Lindsy Van Gelder, previously chief writer for Allure, has been featured in GlamourThe New York TimesRollingstone, and Condé Nast Traveler, among many others. She has co-authored two books with her partner Pamela Robin Brandt, including The Girls Next Door and the travel essay collection Are You Two...Together?
 

Pamela Robin Brandt, who passed away in 2015, wrote a weekly column for the New York Daily News. She is also known as an amazing feminist, rock musician from the band The Deadly Nightshade. She was co-author to two books with her partner Lindsy Van Gelder, including The Girls Next Door and the travel essay collection Are You Two...Together?

Meredith Maran San Frnacisco Chronicle Book Review A state-of-the community book that is funny, engaging, and thought-provoking—not only for the lesbians who will surely line up to buy it but for the straight-but-not-narrow heterosexuals who are looking for a cross-cultural experience.

Suzanne Curley Newsday This brave pair crisscrossed the country searching for just the right juicy details to make a lively...portrait of women who love women...Gossipy, fun, and unflaggingly interesting.

Julie Felner Salon A cross-country trip across the lesbian nation, with stops ranging from s/m habits to Catholic nuns...a look at contemporary lesbian life that is thourough, honest, intimate, and hilarious.

Carey Quan The Seattle Times Frequently hilarious, sometimes raunchy, and always good storytelling—and it manages to slip in thoughtful and thought-provoking, too.

Diane Salvatore The Advocate You're bound to want to call a friend nearly every page to read her some great on-liner or insight that's too good to enjoy alone.

Lydia Martin The Miami Herald A cutting edge tract on lesbian America... reads like an ispired anthropological study that refuses to take the lesbian community's overzealous PC-ness too seriously, even as it propels the lesbian cause to new heights.