Each week I put together a newsletter for several thousand of my coworkers, to recommend books they should read. I look at bestsellers, Googley books (sci fi, cool nonfiction about how the brain works, etc), and books that are already popular with Googlers. Yesterday I recommended a book that my data showed to be particularly popular. It turned out to be this book, which is – oh yes it is – lesbian erotica from the 1950’s.
In some ways a title that’s horribly derivative of other, earlier, Olympia works, involving determined actresses (like James Sherwood’s “Stradella”), Satanic black masses (as Baron’s “Play This Love With Me” did), and even a Greek-mythology-evoking intro (well after Trocchi’s classic “Desire and Helen” floated past similar ground). However, The Gilded Lily is extremely well-written. This work gives a credible and quite vivid account of Lily, the girl with Spanish Fly in her veins, her lesbian friend Janet, directors, producers, night club owners, young boys, and, sadly, the cops at the end.