Lesbian Novel: Bobby Blanchard, Lesbian Gym Teacher (English)

September 24th, 2012

Some years ago, I had the very real pleasure of reading The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories. The basic premise was a parody of lesbian novel tropes, each individually wrapped with a love affair and…a horse. (The horse was not part of the love affair, it was just somewhere in the story.) It was an awesome beach read.

So, not surprisingly, I was thrilled to find that one of the authors of that book, Monica Nolan, had also written a few standalone lesbian pulp-style novels.

If you’re a regular reader here, you already know that I like lesbian pulp novels. Everything from the classic Women’s Barracks by Tereska Torres, through Ann Bannon’s ground-breaking Beebo Brinker series, right through modern parodies like Mabel Maney’s Kiss the Girls and Make Them Spy. In fact, it’s safe to say that I prefer original lesbian pulp and lesbian pulp parodies far more than I do high culture efforts at modern lesbian literature. (With, perhaps, the exception of Madelyn Arnold’s Year of Full Moons, which was flat-out excellent.)

The difference between Monica Nolan’s parodies of lesbian pulp and Mabel Maney’s is a matter of degree; Maney grabs on to an idea and runs as fast and as far as she can with it, making silly noises and flailing her hands all the while, while Nolan approaches her stories with appreciation for the past, and creates something sweet, sincere and slightly goofy. Which brings me to Bobby Blanchard, Lesbian Gym Teacher.

Roberta, aka “Bobby”, Blanchard is a former semi-pro athlete who, after suffering a traumatic injury, takes a position as a gym teacher at an all-girl academy in the forested “north” of some state or other. Bobby has to deal with sexually inquisitive students, teachers, and her own desires. All this while figuring out what lies behind the headmistress’s increasingly erratic behavior and why, exactly, the new math teacher seems to have it in for her.

In the end, you’ll be glad to know, everyone lives happily ever after and, more importantly, the right girls get the right girls.(Girls, yes, you read that correctly. Everyone at Metamora Academy is gay. By which I mean…no, really, everyone. ^_^ Some are gayer than others, but they are all gay.)


Overall – 8

At the end of this book, I had come to a new appreciation of the girls’ school tropes of this genre, a renewed love of lesbian pulp and a desire to watch some field hockey.

You’ll also be pleased to know that Nolan, having beaten the girls’ school story into submission,  has also written an Office Lady-type adventure, Lois Lenz, Lesbian Secretary. I’ll be getting that one for sure. ^_^

P.S. – I’m at the bottom of my reading pile, so it’s mostly novels from here on in. I’m not ignoring you, I just don’t read Japanese that fast. ^_^

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5 Responses

  1. Bobby Blanchard and Lois Lens have been on my to read list for a while. Going by this review, the former one’s going to be a lot of fun. =) I haven’t read any lesbian pulp fiction (or pulp fiction parodies) before.

    My lesbian fiction reading from this past summer through now (in no particular order): Annie On My Mind, Tipping the Velvet (already read and greatly enjoyed Fingersmith), Malinda Lo’s Huntress (already read and adored Ash), Meghan O’Brien’s Thirteen Hours, Radclyffe’s Firestorm, Radclyffe and Karin Kallmaker’s In Deep Waters: Cruising the Seas (a short story collection), and Radclyffe’s Honor series (which I’ve enjoyed the heck out of but haven’t finished reading yet; President’s daughter x hot, suit-wearing Secret Service bodyguard ftw). Overall, not the most literary list, but all recommendable.

  2. Gah, forgot to mention: Year of Full Moons is definitely on my too read list now.

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