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Leila J. Rupp: Sapphistries

Leila J. Rupp: Sapphistries

A Global History of Love Between Women. USA 2010, 303 pp., hardbound, € 149.95
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New York University Press
From the ancient poet Sappho to »tombois« in contemporary Indonesia, women throughout history and around the globe have desired, loved, and had sex with other women. This book tells their stories, capturing the multitude of ways that diverse societies have shaped female same-sex sexuality across time and place. The author reveals how, from the time of the earliest societies, the possibility of love between women has been known, even when it is feared, ignored, or denied. We hear women in the sex-segregated spaces of convents and harems whispering words of love. We see women beginning to find each other on the streets of London and Amsterdam, in the aristocratic circles of Paris, in the factories of Shanghai. We find lesbian desire and love meeting the light of day as Japanese schoolgirls fall in love, and lesbian bars and clubs spread from 1920s Berlin to 1950s Buffalo. And we encounter a world of difference in the 21st century, as transnational concepts and lesbian identities meet local understandings of how two women might love each other.
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