May 1, 2017
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6.00 Inches (US)
2.35 Pounds (US)
$39.95 USD
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
July 8, 2019
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
2.1 Pounds (US)
$29.95 USD
v2.1 Reference

A Queer Love Story

The Letters of Jane Rule and Rick Bébout

Edited by Marilyn R. Schuster
Foreword by Margaret Atwood
A Queer Love Story presents the first fifteen years of letters between Jane Rule – novelist and the first widely recognized "public lesbian" in North America – and Rick Bébout, journalist and editor with the Toronto-based Body Politic, an important incubator of LGBT thought and activism. Rule lived in a remote rural community on Galiano Island, British Columbia, but wrote a column for the magazine. Bébout resided in and was devoted to Toronto's gay village. Both were transplanted Americans. At turns poignant, scintillating, and incisive, their exchanges include ruminations on queer life and the writing life even as they document some of the most pressing LGBT issues of the '80s and '90s, including HIV/AIDs, censorship, and state policing of desire.

About the Authors

Marilyn R. Schuster was the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Smith College and is the author of Passionate Communities: Reading Lesbian Resistance in Jane Rule's Fiction.


"What a delight to read such a lovely, and lovingly edited, rendering of the extraordinary epistolary relationship between Jane Rule and Rick Bébout! The friendship created through and demonstrated by these letters embodies the kind of queer politics that Rule and Bébout valued and fought for: the ability to disagree respectfully, to learn from experiences different from one's own, and to embrace forms of relationship and community that are freed up when one abandons the narrow confines of the heterosexual nuclear family."—Catriona Sandilands, coeditor of Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics, Desire

"A Queer Love Story offers fresh insight into two important figures in Canadian LGBT history – their lives, their views, their activism, and their deeply engaged friendship."—Ivan Coyote, writer

"The intelligence of both writers, the means by which they directly confront the issues affecting the queer community and identity politics, and their desire to explore love, power, the erotic, and the nature of sexuality – these are some of the most engaging facets of these letters."—Linda Morra, editor of Jane Rule's memoir, Taking My Life

"These letters swept me up like a novel. The evolving friendship between these unlikely correspondents – the older lesbian writer and the younger gay editor and activist – is, indeed, a love story. But their love is about something much larger than themselves. Jane and Rick's running analysis of the sea changes occurring in queer life, from the radical seventies, through the AIDS-devastated eighties, to the assimilationist nineties, is incisive, deeply considered and, above all, engaged. In the current era of atrophying attention spans and political atomization, these lush, eloquent letters between people who see themselves first and foremost as part of a movement are exhilarating."—Alison Bechdel, cartoonist and author of Fun Home

"These letters document a love affair with ideas and moral meaning, as two writers separated by age, gender, and geography give each other space to think about the pressing queer social and political issues of the eighties and nineties. Their respectful exchanges offer an insightful running commentary throughout a tumultuous fifteen-year period of Canadian LGBT history."—Ed Jackson, long-time member of the Body Politic Editorial Collective

"These very readable letters, written in a braver and less conventional time, offer a refreshing view that prizes friendship over coupledom and suggests how we all – gay, straight, or just plain queer – might organize our lives and loves outside of the ready-to-wear straightjacket of family and marriage."—Ken Popert, former president and executive director of Pink Triangle Press and long-time member of the Body Politic Collective

"The letters in A Queer Love Story are not simply a look into private lives, which are satisfying and rich in themselves. Here are two powerhouses influencing Canadian history. They helped make our queer history – one word, one gesture, one fight at a time. I felt waves and waves of gratitude, both for the work these two heroes performed and for the chance to see it documented, to be welcomed into that past. This book will remind you just how deeply personal are our political struggles."—Michael V. Smith, author of My Body Is Yours

"The passage of time has only burnished this living legacy of intimate exchanges between the greatest lesbian writer of her generation and the peerless gay editor who was her closest confidante. To read this gift to history is to eavesdrop on two profoundly perceptive eyewitnesses to events central to all our lives, in a conversation unsurpassed in its intelligence, richness, insights, and wisdom."—Katherine Forrest, pioneering lesbian author and editor

"A Queer Love Story is an extraordinary gift. The letters unfurl a heartwarming friendship, a fierce commitment to ideas, and the ordinary iterations of everyday life that enrich the public and political profiles of these two important writers. Marilyn Schuster deserves the highest praise for recognizing the profound value of these letters and turning them into a book that reads like a novel."—Jim Downs, author of Stand by Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation

9780774835435 : a-queer-love-story-schuster-atwood
650 Pages
$39.95 USD
9780774835442 : a-queer-love-story-schuster-atwood
Paperback / softback
648 Pages
$29.95 USD

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