Naked in the Promised Land by Lillian Faderman
A Memoir

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Born in 1940, Lillian Faderman was the only child of an uneducated and unmarried immigrant Jewish woman. Her mother, whose family perished in the Holocaust, was racked by guilt at having come to America and left them behind; she suffered recurrent psychotic episodes. Her only escape from the brutal labor of her sweatshop job was her fiercely loved daughter, Lilly, whose poignant dream throughout an impoverished childhood was to become a movie star and "rescue" her mother. Lilly grew up to become Lil, outwardly tough, inwardly innocent, hungry for love and success. A beautiful young woman who was learning that her deepest erotic and emotional connections were to women, she found herself in a dangerous but seductive lesbian underworld of addicts, pimps, and prostitutes. Desperately seeking to make her life meaningful and to redeem her mother's suffering, she entered the University of California at Berkeley and worked her way through college as a burlesque stripper. A brilliant student, she ultimately achieved a Ph.D. At last she became Lillian, the woman who in time became a loving partner, a devoted mother, an acclaimed writer, and a charismatic, groundbreaking scholar of gay and lesbian studies.
Told with wrenching immediacy and great power, this is an extraordinary memoir: the nakedly honest -- and very American -- story of an exceptional woman and her remarkable, unorthodox life.

About Lillian Faderman

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Lillian Faderman is the award-winning author of numerous books on lesbian/gay history, including Surpassing the Love of Men and Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, which were both named among the New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Her most recent book, Naked in the Promised Land, received the Judy Grahn Award for nonfiction, and a Lambda Literary Award for memoir. She also has been given several "lifetime achievement awards" for gay/lesbian scholarship, including the Paul Monette/Rogler Horwitz Award, Yale University's James Brudner Award, and the Publishing Triangle's Bill Whitehead Award. She lives in California. Stuart Timmons' The Trouble with Harry Hay, chronicled a century of gay life in Los Angeles, and became a Book of the Month Club selection. He has covered gay politics and culture from theater to AIDS, as well as reported on education, environmental, and other topics. His work has appeared in papers such as LA Weekly, The Advocate, Frontiers, Vibe, and Spin and his short stories have appeared in various anthologies.
Published February 12, 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 369 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Gay & Lesbian. Non-fiction

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Noted gay-studies scholar Faderman (To Believe in Women, 1999, etc.) crafts one of those rare autobiographies that conscientiously detail the temptations of destructive behavior while also celebrating the resilience of the human spirit.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Naked in the Promised Land: A...

Publishers Weekly

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While Faderman (To Believe in Women) is well known as the foremother of gay and lesbian studies, few would suspect she was the illegitimate child of a guilt-obses

Nov 18 2002 | Read Full Review of Naked in the Promised Land: A...

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