Lillian Faderman

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Lillian Faderman
Born (1940-07-18) July 18, 1940 (age 80)
The Bronx, New York
OccupationWriter, professor
NationalityAmerican
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley
University of California, Los Angeles
SubjectLesbian history, LGBT history
PartnerPhyllis Irwin[1]
ChildrenAvrom

Lillian Faderman (born July 18, 1940) is an American historian whose books on lesbian history and LGBT history have earned critical praise and awards. The New York Times named three of her books on its "Notable Books of the Year" list. In addition, The Guardian named her book, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, one of the Top 10 Books of Radical History.[2] She was a professor of English at California State University, Fresno (Fresno State), which bestowed her emeritus status,[3] and a visiting professor at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She retired from academe in 2007. Faderman has been referred to as "the mother of lesbian history" for her groundbreaking research and writings on lesbian culture, literature, and history.[4]

Early life[edit]

Faderman was raised by her mother, Mary, and her aunt, Rae. In 1914, her mother emigrated from a shtetl in Latvia to New York City, planning eventually to send for the rest of the family. Her aunt Rae came in 1923, but the rest of the family was killed during Hitler's extermination of European Jews, and Mary blamed herself for not being able to rescue them. Her guilt contributed to a serious mental illness that would profoundly affect her daughter.[5]

Mary and Rae, Faderman's mother and aunt, worked in the garment industry for very little money. Lillian was her mother's third pregnancy; her mother (unmarried) aborted the first two pregnancies at Lillian's biological father's request, but insisted on bearing and raising the third. Mary married when Lillian was a teenager and died in 1979, continuing to have a profound influence on her daughter’s life.

Education[edit]

Faderman studied first at the University of California, Berkeley and later at UCLA.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Her family moved with her to Los Angeles where, with her mother’s encouragement, Lillian took acting classes. She began modeling as a teenager, discovered the gay bar scene, and eventually met her first girlfriend. Before she graduated from high school, she married a gay man much older than herself—a marriage that lasted less than a year.

Faderman came out as lesbian in the 1950s.[6][7] She lives with her partner of forty years (as of 2012), Phyllis Irwin. She has one son, Avrom, who earned a PhD from Stanford University.[8]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • The New York Times (Notable Book of 1981) for Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship and Love Between Women from the Renaissance to the Present[9]
  • Stonewall Book Award (1982) for Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship and Love Between Women from the Renaissance to the Present
  • Lambda Literary Award (Editor's Choice Award, 1992) for Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America
  • The New York Times (Notable Book of 1992) for Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America[10]
  • Stonewall Book Award (Nonfiction, 1992) for Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America
  • Lambda Literary Award for Best Non-fiction Book (2000) for To Believe in Women: What Lesbians Have Done For America - A History
  • Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian/Gay Anthology (2003) for Naked in the Promised Land
  • Yale University James Brudner Prize for Exemplary Scholarship in Lesbian/Gay Studies (2001)
  • Paul Monette-Roger Horwitz Trust Award (1999)
  • Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement (Publishing Triangle, 2004) for Naked in the Promised Land
  • Judy Grahn Award for Memoir (Publishing Triangle, 2004) for Naked in the Promised Land
  • Two Lambda Literary Awards for Best Nonfiction Book & LGBT Arts and Culture Award (2007) both awards for Gay L. A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics and Lipstick Lesbians
  • Lambda Literary Award (Pioneer Award, 2013)
  • The New York Times (Notable Book of 2015) for The Gay Revolution[11]
  • The Washington Post (Notable Nonfiction Book of 2015) for The Gay Revolution[12]
  • Anisfield-Wolf Book Award (Nonfiction, 2016) for The Gay Revolution[13]
  • Golden Crown Literary Society 2017 Trailblazer Award[14]

Works[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Finding Aid for the Lillian Faderman papers, 1976-1989". Online Archive of California. Retrieved June 23, 2012.
  2. ^ "Lillian Faderman". www.lillianfaderman.net. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  3. ^ "Emeriti Faculty". Department of English. California State University, Fresno. 2019. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  4. ^ Toor, Rachel (February 19, 2018). "Scholars Talk Writing: Lillian Faderman". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  5. ^ Marler, Regina (February 18, 2003). "Naked History". The Advocate. Archived from the original on February 8, 2008. Retrieved 2007-03-21.
  6. ^ Faderman, Lillian (2003). Naked in the Promised Land: A Memoir (1st ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 0-618-12875-1.
  7. ^ Equality Forum (October 15, 2019). "Meet LGBT History Month icon Lillian Faderman". San Diego Gay & Lesbian News. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  8. ^ Wall, Alix (October 31, 2003). "A life exposed". J. The Jewish News of Northern California. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  9. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1981/12/06/books/notable-books-of-the-year.html
  10. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1992/12/06/books/notable-books-of-the-year-1992.html
  11. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/06/books/review/100-notable-books-of-2015.html
  12. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/the-best-nonfiction-of-2015/2015/11/18/326c89e8-7902-11e5-b9c1-f03c48c96ac2_story.html
  13. ^ "Lillian Faderman". Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards.
  14. ^ "Golden Crown Literary Society Names 2017 Trailblazer Award Recipient". GCLS Press Release. April 30, 2017.

External links[edit]