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Faulkner's Sexualities$
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Annette Trefzer and Ann J. Abadie

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604735604

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604735604.001.0001

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“And You Too, Sister, Sister?”

“And You Too, Sister, Sister?”

Lesbian Sexuality, Absalom, Absalom!, and the Reconstruction of the Southern Family

(p.38) “And You Too, Sister, Sister?”
Faulkner's Sexualities

Jaime Harker

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines whether there has ever been a lesbian William Faulkner by analyzing his novel Absalom, Absalom!, and by highlighting textual similarities between it and Southern lesbian literature. It argues that the novel is a “foremother” to contemporary lesbian writing in the South and places Faulkner into a trajectory of lesbian writing beginning with Florence King’s Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady. The chapter also considers how characterization and space are mapped out in Absalom, Absalom! to correspond with novels that articulate lesbian desire such as Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina. Drawing on scholarship by Frann Michel, who first posited “William Faulkner as a Lesbian Author” in 1989, it looks at the transformation of Supten’s Hundred into Judith’s Hundred, a “queer contact zone,” one both within and outside of Southern patriarchal structures.

Keywords:   lesbian literature, William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom, South, Florence King, Failed Southern Lady, novels, lesbian desire, queer contact zone

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