Skip to main content

Book Review: Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

Laughing hard @ nothing
     This groundbreaking novel was praised (and criticized), at the time of its publication in 1973, for the unapologetic spirit of its heroine, Molly.  As a working-class woman who is attracted to other women, she is rejected by her family and marginalized wherever she goes, from the South to New York City.  Despite these obstacles, she insists that she doesn’t give a damn what anyone else thinks of her.  In fact, she rattles on for paragraphs at a time about how little she cares for the opinions of others.
     At the time of Rubyfruit Jungle’s publication, this was probably the heroine that the lesbian and queer community needed - audacious, unflinching, irreverent, and indestructible.  These are qualities which queer women have historically aspired to in order to survive.  However, as both a modern reader and a modern queer woman, it seems to me that Molly possesses these qualities in unbelievably pure form.  Her careless, blustering rants lend an appearance of two-dimensionality to her character.  I admire Molly's strength, but she feels most authentic when the author shows her vulnerability.
     All that aside, I loved Rubyfruit Jungle for its portrayal of romance and sexual exploration between women, in addition to academic and artistic barriers to queer and straight women alike.  I also enjoyed the use of setting to chart Molly's growth as a character - she spends her childhood in Pennsylvania and her youth in Florida, but comes of age in New York City.  I especially liked the section about her years in the city because I love reading about twentieth-century queer culture in NYC.  There is a lot to love about this coming-of-age story, including its radical place in history.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Best Reading from my Third Semester

Once again, this semester's schoolwork took precedence over this blog.  It had to happen, but now I'm back to let you all know about the wonderful books I read in my classes.
     On an unrelated note, feel free to add me on LinkedIn!  I made an account but I only have four connections so far, it's very sad.

Novels
1. Cane by Jean Toomer - A gorgeous genre-blending novel which describes the lives of black people in rural Georgia in the early twentieth century.

2. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston - The greatest self-love story of all time.

3. Passing by Nella Larson - A novel which examines the complex friendship between two wealthy black women, one of whom passes for white.

4. Smoke, Lilies and Jade, a Novel by Richard Bruce - A semi-autobiographical, experimental text peppered with ellipses and the names of great Harlem Renaissance artists.

Short Stories
1. "The Closing Door" by Angeline Grimke - This story demonstrates with intimate, hea…

Book Review: This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

Hey! Before we start the review, I want to address two changes that I've made to this blog.  You might have noticed that the blog's title has changed from "The Book Thieves" to "The Book Bum," while the web address has not changed.  I made this alteration because I feel like I've outgrown the old title, plus I think it's lowkey plagiarizing a book with a similar title?  So I picked a new one and I may change it again in the future.  I kept the web address the same because I'm not sure how changing it will affect the people who already follow this blog.  Will everybody be confused?  I'm not sure, so I'm keeping it for now.
     The second change is that, from now on, guest bloggers are welcome to write for The Book Bum!  If anyone is interested in writing a review, comment on this post or let me know in person.  My first guest blogger is my boyfriend, Elijah Logan, who wrote today's book review.

Elijah's Review Junot Diaz’s Thi…