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Paperback A Crystal Diary Book

ISBN: 1563410826

ISBN13: 9781563410826

A Crystal Diary

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

A fictional account of the largely illegal life on the drug infested streets of San Francisco pursued by the author in the 1970s. This book uncovers the lives of the often invisible lesbian women on the city streets, who pimp their girlfriends, and know how to survive and live off their wits.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Read it with Naked in the Promised Land!

... In Faderman's book, Frankie Hucklenbroich is Nicky, a baby butch with a puppydog crush on Faderman, a teenager who is already a pinup girl for men's magazines. Faderman is a lesbian, but leaves Nicky to marry a gay man, which temporarily pleases parents all around. Nicky, in despair, disappears for years. A Crystal Diary fills in what happens in that time (in a lightly fictionalized way -- here Lil is Jil) as Nicky, never forgetting her first true love, tries to hide the pain of the loss of both that love and her family's love behind a facade of "butchinality" and pimphood. Nicky stays on the move, hustling her way from city to city, but can't leave her unhappiness behind. When she finally asks for help, it is Faderman -- now a professor who stripped her way through college and graduate school -- who comes to her rescue. Not only is the life story amazing -- the writing in A Crystal Diary is both economical and vivid; it takes the author very few words to paint an incredible picture of a world where attitude is everything and femmes are the prize.

A neglected classic

This book received great reviews in the lesbian press, but it was seriously under-promoted and never got the reader attention that it so justly deserved. After reading the manuscript, I was invited by the publisher to write a blurb for the book. Unfortunately, the blurb was never used, but I want to reiterate it here: A CRYSTAL DIARY is poignant and true and written from the gut. It's about working class lesbian hurt, anger, and alienation--and about lesbian strength, the will to survive, and noble courage. I've long admired Frankie Hucklenbroich's work, and in this novel it comes to brilliant and fabulous fruitiion.

Hucklenbroich's first novel

This novel, Hucklenbroich's first, is another in a long line of well written works chosen to see the light of print by Firebrand Books. Not that a publisher makes a work worth reading, but this publisher has a history of selecting authors who have talent. A CRYSTAL DIARY is part of that tradition. The fact that Hucklenbroich's other works, poetry and short fiction, have been included in anthologies edited by Lillian Faderman and by Joan Nestle provides those in need of endorsements with substantial ones. While the subject matter is not always what some lesbians might find politically correct, the novel is very well written and gives an excellent sense of place and time. These characters are not so much politically incorrect as they are simply products of their time and culture, and the author gives us an excellent sense of who and why each is as she is. Coming out in St. Louis, or almost anywhere else in the 1950's, and coming of age in a California caught in the cyclones of drug cultures and the open sexuality of the 60's and 70's, informs the self definitions of Hucklenbroich's baby butches and the women they fall in love and lust with. These are real people whom the author draws with believable accuracy and style. Regardless of your political views or definitions of what and who is attractive, you'll find this book engaging simply because it is thoughtfully written and heartfelt. If you have access to America Online, watch for an announcement about a live online interview with Hucklenbroich in late July, 1997. Go to keyword: LAMBDA RISING. If you miss the interview, a text of it will be archived at that keyword for later download.

Good. REALLY good! I borrowed it, read it, and bought my own

I've read many, many lesbian books. From pulps to advanced theory, from `Nightwood' to `The Bar Stories: a novel, after all'. I'd never have bothered with this one (who wants to read the story of a lowlife street butch in the 50's to the 70's?), except that some of my friends had read it, and were passionately debating it. So I borrowed it to see what all the fuss was, and I read it. And I had to have my own copy! I'm a lesbian feminist, and a great deal of the book rankles my feminism, until I remind myself that the only politics Nicky and her ilk knew was the politics of survival. Nicky is complex and well-drawn. She is a sharp observer of those around her. She's not an admirable character in many ways, but she's understandable, oddly likeable, and has a sharp sense of humor that's directed as much at herself as at anyone or anything else (there are some truly hilarious moments in the book), and she is passionately honest about the ways her particular lesbian subculture worked. She's gallant, kind, cunning, cruel, and not afraid to show us that under all her posturing, what she wants most and fears most is love. She's very unforgettable, and I can't recall a lesbian book that's stirred me more to anger, distaste, laughter, sadness, and a deeper understanding of what the women who came before us were, and why. I understand that this is an autobiographical first novel. If so, my hat's off to Frankie Hucklenbroich for a stunning job, and i will be watching with interest for her future work
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