Lesbian Love Story

A Queer History of Sapphic Romance

Amelia Possanza author


Publisher:Vintage Publishing

Published:22nd Jun '23


Available for immediate dispatch.

Lesbian Love Story cover

Charting the stories of Olympic athletes and lesbian memoirists, via Sappho, Lesbian Love Story is a genre-defying respository of sapphic romance like no other.

On her quest to discovering lesbian role models overlooked by history, Amelia Possanza uncovers seven incredible love stories in the archives. Expertly blending her subjects' own words with richly imagined and vigorously researched moments from their lives to tell their stories in an intimate, vivid and immediate way, Possanza weaves these narratives together with her own memories of uncovering the past, yearning and longing alongside her subjects and growing into her queerness.

This is a celebration of sapphics - of women who love women - but also of people who have always existed outside of traditional definitions of gender and bravely lived beyond the confines of heteronormativity. Each of the lesbians in this memoir moved through the world in their own way and helped the world. Their stories illuminate a forgotten history, as well as showing us all a new way to understand what love means when there is nothing material to be gained.

Possanza is refreshingly frank about how her biography influences her writing, and what she wants from the lives she conjures up, however different they may be from hers. Lesbian Love Story is full of warmth and hope - readable, inventive and scholarly ... Attraction, love, compassion, hope: all are brought to life by the author's sharp, lively observation. These remarkable figures deserve to have their stories told - and listened to. -- Erica Wagner * Sunday Times *
Lesbian Love Story is a rare treat - empathetic, generous and utterly fascinating.I was left in awe of thebreadth of Possanza's research and the seamless way in which she weaves together so many different stories of radical lives and loves. * Julia Armfield, author of 'Our Wives Under the Sea' *
Gorgeously, quintessentially lesbian, in its very form ... I was struck by how unfamiliar these names and histories were to me. Yet it also struck me how familiar these lesbians feel to the modern-day lesbian. From Sappho to Rusty Brown, Possanza is sensitive both to the similarities and idiosyncrasies of their different stories - how they forged and belonged to this timeless, mutable community. I hope generations of lesbians buy this for their lovers - and continue to add to the archives. * Lily Lindon, author of Double Booked *
I loved this passionate archive of lesbian lives and loves, a glowing mosaic of shared experience and immediacy, which transcends historical time. * Kate Charlesworth, author of 'Sensible Footwear' *
By blending deep and evocative research, memoir and tender speculations, Amelia Possanza has crafted a novel every bit as essential and subversive as the women she's writing about. I loved this book. * Alim Kheraj, author of 'Queer London' *
As bold, tender, thoughtful and defiant as the lesbians to whom it pays such passionate homage * Nat Reeve, author of 'Nettleblack' *
A thoroughly enjoyable and accessible read * Paula Akpan, journalist and author of 'When We Ruled' *
A loving and scrappy history which deftly weaves the social and the personal into sensitive portraits of figures the world had almost forgotten. Possanza looks into the contradictions and tides of lesbian identity, locating it in a desire to live authentically and the joy of metamorphosis. Earnest, fun and deeply caring, this book is an ode to a resilient and riotous community. * Cleo Henry, author of 'The Last Lesbian Bar in the Midlands' *
Lesbian Love Story is more than a book: it's a radical act of love for queer folk around the world. A set of gripping narratives take us not just through time, but through the hearts and lives of people just like us. These stories are magic, and in an age where there is so much fear and oppression, supports us all in seeing the hope and promise of a better world. Lesbian Love Story is a treasure trove of queer history, living and breathing in a way no museum could manage. * Kestral Gaian, author of 'Hidden Lives and Counterweights *
In this warmhearted and sexy memoir Possanza combs through Bushwick bars and Hadrian's library for stories of queer love. * Vanity Fair *
An archive of queer love and community by a talented storyteller . . . Part personal memoir, part archival research, Lesbian Love Story expertly weaves together stories of lesbians across time with a historian's precision and a novelist's pacing. Bringing together seven epic love stories across eras, ranging from the classical Greek poet Sappho and her lover Anactoria to lesbian caretakers in the AIDS crisis extending beyond romantic boundaries, Possanza cultivates a worthy collection of lesbian love stories . . . Throughout, the prose is warm, personal, and accessible. Detailed and immensely readable, this is a generous history of lesbian love. * Kirkus Reviews *
Lesbian Love Story cracks open a vault of queer lives that were so meaningful to dig into - sporty girls, masc forbears, illicit loves. These juicy stories are filled with pathos and inspiration, and Ameila Possanza's thrill at excavating them is personal, palpable and contagious. * Michelle Tea, author of 'Knocking Myself Up' and 'Against Memoir' *
Lesbian Love Story has all the vivid detail of a great novel and all the intelligence of a great study ... I was continually fascinated, frequently moved, and completely in awe of Possanza's wit, intelligence, and empathy. I can't wait to reread this outstanding, unforgettable book. * Stephen McCauley, author of 'My Ex-Life' *
Amelia Possanza celebrates the greatest lesbian love stories never told in her delightful debut that has her taking a deep dive into the queer archives searching for role models for her own love life. What the Brooklyn book publicist-turned-author finds is Bushwick drag kings and activists in Harlem who prove there is no one way to love-and there never has been. -- Most Anticipated Books of 2023 * Time Magazine *
Intimate and voracious and utterly magnetic. * Autostraddle *
A manifesto of love: of erotic love and platonic love, of familial and communal love, and maybe most importantly, self-love. * Electric Literature *
Intimate and sexy, voraciously researched and vibrantly imagined, Amelia Possanza has given us the romantic history all lesbians deserve. * Nina LaCour, author of 'Yerba Buena' *
Amelia Possanza's Lesbian Love Story is a tender and sensual swim through lesbian history - thoroughly researched and brought to dazzling life by Possanza's imaginative prose. * Hugh Ryan, author of 'When Brooklyn Was Queer' *
A creative, joyful approach to the queer past.Lesbian Love Story weaves together history, memoir, and theory in this refreshing work of historical imagination. A very smart love letter to lesbians across time. * Jen Manion, author of 'Female Husbands: A Trans History' *
Astunning love letter to lesbian history and an incredible, affirming book * Lois Shearing, founder of the Bi Survivor's Network, and author of ‘Bi The Way’ *
A delightful book that's part memoir, part historical investigation -- Most Anticipated LGBTQ+ Books Of 2023 * Buzzfeed *
Seven epic love stories across eras. Detailed and immensely readable, this is a generous history of lesbian love * Kirkus Reviews *
Writing with empathy, wit, and imagination, Possanza constructs a personal, political, and romantic history of lesbian life and love. * The Millions *
Possanza uses Lesbian Love Story to recover the personal histories of lesbians in the 20th century and muse about replacing our contemporary misogynistic society with something markedly lesbian. * Library Journal *
In her impressive debut, Possanza stitches together personal memoir, painstaking research, and fictional imaginings with a fluid style and a sure hand . . . This is an outstanding work of literary scholarship that also delivers a vulnerable, intimate portrait of its author. * Publisher's Weekly *

ISBN: 9781529910872

Dimensions: 236mm x 162mm x 36mm

Weight: 480g

288 pages