Bi The Book - Our Top Ten Bisexual Woman Authors
Frustrated by a lack of bi representation on your bookshelf? LOTL is here to bump up your reading pile…
1. Rita Mae Brown
Brown was made famous with Rubyfruit Jungle, her first novel. She then went on to gain further notoriety when she briefly dated tennis star Martina Navratilova. Often – like many bisexuals – mislabelled as lesbian, she told Time Magazine in 2008: “The funny thing is, I don't believe in straight or gay. I really don't. I think we're all degrees of bisexual.”
2. Jennifer Baumgardner
A writer and filmmaker whose work extensively explores bisexuality, Baumgardner is also director of The Feminist Press. She has previously had a relationship with Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls. Her key bisexuality-related text is Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics.
3. June Jordan
The late June Jordan, who died in 2002, was an acclaimed Caribbean-American poet and author. Her key works in her prolific 27-book career include Directed By Desire: Collected Poems, published posthumously and going on to win the Lambda Literary Awards “Lesbian Poetry” category. This sparked off a (successful) year-long campaign by BiNetUSA to add a “Bisexual Literature” category at the awards.
4. Anne Herendeen
Anne Herendeen’s first book, Phillida and the Brotherhood of Philander, was initially due to be published with the subtitle A Bisexual Regency Romance, but this was later scrapped. The novel centres around a polyamorous marriage and employs a metafictional structure, operating as a novel-within-a-novel to look at both this central story and a wider analysis of sexual freedom in the era.
5. Kate Millett
Kate Millett, who died last year aged 82, was a key figure in second-wave feminism and the first American woman to gain a first-class degree at Oxford University’s St Hilda’s College. Her best-known book is Sexual Politics. Her bisexuality features heavily in all her works.
Collette was a French author born in 1873. Her husband locked her in a room, forced her to write and then published her most famous novels – the four “Claudine” novels - under his own name. In 1906 she left him, although he still continued to receive royalties from her work and she was forced to find work as a music hall performer. During this time she met and fell in love with lesbian drag performer the Marquise de Balbeuf. She went on to write La Vagabonde (1910; The Vagabond) and L’Envers du music-hall (1913; Music-Hall Sidelights) inspired by this time period.
7. Jane Bowles
Jane Bowles (1917-1973) was a writer and playwright most famous for her book Two Serious Ladies and her play In The Summerhouse. Both she and her husband were bisexual and they had a polyamorous marriage, which allowed her a number of passionate affairs with other women.
8. Robyn Ochs
Prominent activist Ochs edited the groundbreaking Bisexual Resource Guide, which was published between 1990 and 2002. She then went on to co-edit Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around The World. She works closely with BiNet USA and the Bisexual Resource Center.
9. Rachel Kramer Bussel
Mainly a writer of erotica, Kramer Bussel edited three volumes of Women’s Erotica of the Year as well as The Big Book of Orgasms.
10. Marjorie Garber
Garber is a Harvard University Professor who specialises in gender politics. Her works include Vice Versa: Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life.