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Stone Butch Blues

Leslie Feinberg

1993, Firebrand Books

301 Pages

From the Cover

Woman or man?  That's the question that rages like a storm around Jess Goldberg, clouding her life and her identity.

Growing up differently gendered in a blue-collar town in the 1950s.  Coming out as a butch in the bars and factories of the prefeminist '60s.  Deciding to pass as a man in order to survive when she is left without work or a community in the early '70s.

This powerful, provocative, and deeply moving novel sees Jess coming full circle, learning to accept the complexities of being a transgendered person in a world demanding simple explanations:  a he-she emerging whole, weathering the turbulence.

Winner 1994 Lambda Literary Award (Small Press Book) and
1994 American Library Association Lesbian/Gay Book Award (Fiction)

Readers' Comments


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Sorcha Murnane  mursor@aol.com

this is the best book I have ever read in my life, it showed me so much about myself ,I cant imagine ever having not opened the doors of my mind that this book helped me open . thanks leslie

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Elon  elonza@yahoo.com

this is one of the best, most heart wrenching books i have ever read.

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tiffany   lorde@chickmail.com

I read this book in a most amazimg class, entitled "Gay is Very American," by Martha Nell Smith at the University of Maryland. This book delivered an amazingly intimate accoutant of historic lesbian/gay struggles that opened my eyes to a sense of history and a dedication to our foresisters that I will never again think of gay history or rights again without a historical context. Like feminism, few lesbians, at least those who are vocal or lucky or skilled enough to have a public forum, understand the groudwork that our foresisters afforded us. Feinberg's novel reminds us of the blood, sweat and tears that prececed our present sense of quasi-comfort that we now enjoy, is only at the expense of those who suffered before us.

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Jordan Gloyd  faeriegirl_16@yahoo.com

This book touched me on so many different levels. I was shaking and crying after the first five pages. By the time I finished it, I felt as though I had grown up a lot. This is the best book I have ever read, and definately the most eye-opening.

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*T*  novak_t@hotmail.com

This is the most amazing book! Leslie's writing is just so great. She writes so you live it. and i did when i first read it. I felt like i was right there along side Jess, Ed, and Grant. I felt their pain and emptiness. I felt as though I were part of the story, cuz i feel what they feel. I cried for their pain, smiled for their triumphs, and laughed at their wit. With each chapter I "grew up" with them. I can't think of a better book to read that makes you think, believe and wonder. A book that opens minds and hearts. Thanks Leslie! Be Proud, *T*

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Kris  tattoo1981@aol

By the end of the book I had to take breaks from keeping myself from crying. Thanks Leslie

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Mary  selfseeker@webtv.net

Stone Butch Blues is the best novel I have ever read in my life. It's presentation is PROFOUNDLY gripping; it stripped my heart of misconceptions and misunderstandings and, just in the nick of time, breathed understandings, answers, and more appropriate questions into my entire being. I am on my way back for "another round" with my butch lover, whom I suspect I didn't rightly perceiv during our first two "rounds." I always experienced her unmovable and mostly unmeltable stone as rejection. I was wrong. I pray that I can stop crying long enough to both calmly and patiently live my new understandings and live long enough to be able to afford my Beauty of All Beauties the safety she needs in which to breathe, live, love and accept love happily, freely and securely. Thank you, Leslie Feinberg.

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Stacy  Hockegal12@yahoo.com

This is by far the best book ive ever read, i read it 2-3 times a year. I have more respect for the older butches in my life, after realizing what they went through. It also makes me see how good us young butches (and anybody in drag for that matter) have it.

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D.A  DvlsDvls@aol.com

This Book is awsome. IT has change my outlook on life and helped me grow alot. Thank you leslie Feinberg for righting this awsome book!!!

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Megan  Peachesizme@hotmail.com

I just finished reading Stone Butch Blues, and I have to say I have found my new favorite book. This book made me think about so many things I've taken for granted as a young lesbian in society, and it made me feel the hurt that so many women have experienced to get us where we are today. Feinberg is a beautiful writer, I hope she produces more.

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Nick Stafford  haruka_heavenly@hotmail.com

Perhaps the most wonderful book ever written, and surely it is my favorite. It's like a Bible all about me. There are so many things that Jess and I have gone through the same. I too knew that I was different growing up, and now after reading this book I can be myself, but I did try before. I love the book and everything it was about, finding who one truly is, is important. The book keep tears in my eyes, something that I learned to hide, and now my stone has cracked a little. If I were to be given a second chance I too would have made the same choices. Keep writing!!, and I'll keep reading! Love, Nicole (Nick)

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c benjamin  campesina_cb@yahoo.com

I had this book on my shelf weeks before I decided to read it. My fiend had reccomended it and I was being lazy. The other day I decided to read it, and I have been thinking of nothing else ever since. I love this book. I haven't finished it yet and am too scared to do so, but know that I will probably finish it on the train home tonight. I put off finishing it yeserday as I knew I was all alone in the house and didn't want to be there without my new best friend, Jess Goldberg. Tonight I am out with friends so I have plucked up the courage! I will SO miss this book, and would love to meet Leslie Fienberg one day to shake Hir hand. Ze has renewed my strength in the fight against homophobia. Thank you.

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Tyler  GreenD40@aol.com

An amazing book, and a must read for everyone but especially for people struggling with their gender or identity. This book has helped me through a lot, and let me know that i'm not the only one out there, and my life could be a hell of a lot worse. I read it over and over again, and still I have the same reaction. It is very emotional and it hurts to read. Extremely powerful.

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Tina M.  Millerlight90@hotmail.com

this book is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!It helped me to see exactly where Lesbians/gays/trans have been and how far we have come. But also how far we have yet to go.

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Big Steve Beckett  lilwesb@msn.com

This could be the story of my life! I have traveled a long road to discover (and rediscover) my true gender. Now I'm open to anything and anyone!