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Lillian Faderman
(1940 - living) U.S.A.

Lillian Faderman

Historian, writer and academic


Lillian FadermanBorn in Bronx, New York, to a single working mother, Faderman was educated at the University of California where she received a BA from Berkeley in 1962 and a PhD from UCLA in 1967. In 1985 she published the book that established her as an international lesbian scholar, Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship and love between Women from Renaissance to the Present.

This work became not only a landmark text in lesbian literary criticism but also formed part of a debate about the "nature" of lesbian identity. This book established the existence of proto-lesbian "romantic friendships" between many women who were previously believed to have been heterosexual.

Dedicate to her partner Phyllis Irwin, with whom she has been since 1971, is Faderman's latest work, To Believe in Women: What Lesbians Have Done for America. At present Faderman teaches literature and creative writing at California State University at Fresno.


Source: excerpts from: Gabriele Griffin, Who's Who in Lesbian and Gay and Writing, Routledge, London, 2002 - et alii

Her work include:

  • Speaking for Ourselves (1969)
  • Lesbian Feminism in Turn-of-the-century Germany (1980)
  • Scotch Verdict: Miss Pirie and Miss Woods vs. Dame Cumming Gordon (1983)
  • Surpassing the Love of Men (1985)
  • Odd Girls Out and Twilight Loers: A History of Lesbian Life in 20th-century America (1991)
  • Chloe plus Olivia: An Anthology of Lesbian Literature from the 17th Century to Present (1994)
  • To Believe in Women: What Lesbians Have Done for America (1999)
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