It’s been a little while, but I have finally got around to adding a few more titles to the bibliography (check it out here). This is largely due to the suggestions of a few readers of this little blog, specifically another lovely bookish type, my new found interwebs friend Anna Watson. Anna is another femme passionate about writing by and about femmes who suggested a number of titles I hadn’t thought of and/or heard about (Mabel Maney’s wonderful work —which you’ll see listed in the updated bibliography—being one example). Anna’s name might be ringing some bells for those of you who’ve read Visible: A Femmethology, Volume One. She wrote an excellent piece called “Femme Bookworm, or, What’s a Girl to Read When She’s Feeling Invisible?” If you haven’t yet read either volume of Visible, please go check out the Femmethology website to learn more about this amazing collection, or go straight to Homofactus Press to order your copy right now.
But I digress. What I’m really very bouncing-in-my-seat-excited to announce is that Anna is going to come on board the Femme Bibliography Project to help put together an additional bibliography! Amidst her suggestions of additional titles, Anna asked if I had thought about including pieces that may not be femme-authored, but include femme characters. I had not. But what a great idea! After mulling this over a bit, I started to think that what was necessary was a separate listing of books and stories with femme characters. This seemed to make sense to me for a couple of reasons, one being that (while I might be wrong here), there must be so many femme characters out there in the world of words that adding each instance of femme literary representation would make the original bibliography unwieldy. Secondly, I think it’s important to distinguish between femme voices (i.e. works that are femme-authored) and femme representation (i.e. femme characters), even though those two categories may line up often enough.
This means that in the future not only will you be able to come here to find academic resources on queer femininity, narrative pieces about femme, and femme-authored lit, but you’ll also be able to find listings of stories (smutty and otherwise) that feature queer feminine folks, like Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues, or Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness. Anna and I both share a sense of how important these literary representations are for queer femmes whose daily experiences of invisibility often leave us craving representation, in any form. As Anna writes in “Femme Bookworm,” “I am femme, but there are times when I feel myself fading out, passing from view, when I look in the mirror and see nothing but a misty shape, rapidly receding.” But, as she tells us later on, those who write femme characters “have given me the great gift of writing loved versions of lives that look a lot like mine. Reading and rereading their work allows this bookworm, for brief restorative moments, to realize fully my femme self.”
So, all of that being said, you can look forward to a future additional femme bibliography that is dedicated to documenting instances of femme-representation in literature and smut (I’ve actually removed the smut section from version 1.4 for this reason), that will come to you mostly via the knowledge and research of one Anna Watson. While we have yet to work out the details of this arrangement, I am super excited to be teaming up with someone who has such a passion for this kind of work, and I’m even more excited to be able make all of this writing more accessible to you readers. Yay!