The Lesbian South

Southern Feminists, the Women in Print Movement, and the Queer Literary Canon

By Jaime Harker

264 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 16 halftones

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-4335-9
    Published: October 2018
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-4334-2
    Published: October 2018
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-4336-6
    Published: September 2018
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-5634-0
    Published: September 2018

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Awards & distinctions

Finalist, Judy Grahn Award, Publishing Triangle

In this book, Jaime Harker uncovers a largely forgotten literary renaissance in southern letters. Anchored by a constellation of southern women, the Women in Print movement grew from the queer union of women’s liberation, civil rights activism, gay liberation, and print culture. Broadly influential from the 1970s through the 1990s, the Women in Print movement created a network of writers, publishers, bookstores, and readers that fostered a remarkable array of literature.

With the freedom that the Women in Print movement inspired, southern lesbian feminists remade southernness as a site of intersectional radicalism, transgressive sexuality, and liberatory space. Including in her study well-known authors—like Dorothy Allison and Alice Walker—as well as overlooked writers, publishers, and editors, Harker reconfigures the southern literary canon and the feminist canon, challenging histories of feminism and queer studies to include the south in a formative role.

About the Author

Jaime Harker is professor of English at the University of Mississippi.
For more information about Jaime Harker, visit the Author Page.


The Lesbian South asks and answers questions about femininity and passing, dykeness and lesbian visibility, the south and its racial and sexual imaginary, and these images add to the richness of the conversation. It is a vital contribution to literary history forging a bridge between southern literary studies and LGBT literary studies. It is also a pleasurable read.” —Reception

“Harker’s compelling book. . . . Is engaging and thoughtful, and it gives the reader much to ponder. . . . The Lesbian South uncovers a forgotten past wherein lesbians remade southernness as a site of transgressive sexuality, intersectional radicalism, and liberatory space.”—Journal of Southern History

“In this essential study of southern literature, Jaime Harker uncovers the complex networks of affiliation, sometimes antagonistic and sometimes loving, that shaped southern lesbian feminism, and the rich literary archive that women in these networks produced. A must-have for any reader.” —Michael Bibler, Louisiana State University

“In a moment in which we are again invited to see the red-state South as backward, brutal, and banal, here comes Jaime Harker’s book. Her inventive use of feminist print institutions connects a diverse set of places and players and allows Harker to offer a much-needed look at the complex culture of southern lesbian feminism that has evolved since the 1970s. The fact that she writes not only with insight but also with genuine affection is sweet icing on a delicious—and much needed—cake.”—Trysh Travis, author of The Language of the Heart