First printing of this fantasy retelling of a popular myth with lesbian main characters, the kind of novel unusual at the time but now seeing a surge of tremendous new examples representing many different LGBTQ+ identities.
The Arthurian cycle had attracted romance novelists before, notably Vera Chapman's THE GREEN KNIGHT (1975); it had also attracted women authors who brought consciously feminist perspectives into the mythos, like Marion Zimmer Bradley's MISTS OF AVALON (1982). Mary J. Jones brings those two perspectives together, creating a lesbian romance with both historical and fantastical elements. In the 20th century, lesbian romances were much more typically published as contemporaries, not historicals. Two other major historical lesbian romances are Isabel Miller's early American A PLACE FOR US, 1969; and Michelle Martin's regency PEMBROKE PARK, 1986. AVALON is, however, much more explicit in its content. A beneficiary of the gradually increasing sensuality levels seen in romance beginning in the 1970s, AVALON's "tantalizer page" (the first leaf that contains a short scene excerpt) ends just before the Lady of the Lake performs oral sex on her partner Elin.
AVALON was published by Naiad Press in the year that its founders, Barbara Greier and Donna McBride, won a Lambda Literary Award in the Publisher's Service category. It was edited by the author of one of the most beloved American lesbian novels of the 20th century: Katherine V. Forrest, author of CURIOUS WINE (1983).
Read more: Ramsdell, Encyclopedia of Romantic Fiction.
(Tallahassee, FL): The Naiad Press, (1991). 8.25'' x 5.5''. Original red pictorial wrappers with central illustration in black and white designed by Pat Tong and Bonnie Liss. Publisher's catalogue at rear. , 237,  pages. A bit of edgewear to wrappers with tiny bits of chipping to spine ends.
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