Rubyfruit Jungle

Rubyfruit Jungle

Book - 1988
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Rubyfruit Jungleis the first milestone novel in the extraordinary career of one of this country's most distinctive writers. Bawdy and moving, the ultimate word-of-mouth bestseller,Rubyfruit Jungleis about growing up a lesbian in America -- and living happily ever after. Born a bastard, Molly Bolt is adopted by a dirt-poor Southern couple who want something better for their daughter. Molly plays doctor with the boys, beats up Leroy the tub and loses her virginity to her girlfriend in sixth grade. As she grows to realize she's different, Molly decides not to apologize for that. In no time she mesmerizes the head cheerleader of Ft. Lauderdale High and captivates a gorgeous bourbon-guzzling heiress. But the world is not tolerant. Booted out of college for moral turpitude, an unrepentant, penniless Molly takes New York by storm, sending not a few female hearts aflutter with her startling beauty, crackling wit and fierce determination to become the greatest filmmaker that ever lived. Critically acclaimed when first published,Rubyfruit Junglehas only grown in reputation as it has reached new generations of readers who respond to its feisty and inspiring heroine. From the Paperback edition.
Publisher: Toronto : Bantam Books, 1988, c1973
Edition: Fifteenth anniversary ed
ISBN: 9780553052848
0553052845
Branch Call Number: BRO
Characteristics: 193 p. ;,24 cm

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mayog
Jan 03, 2019

This is not "literature" in that classical sense. It's more Armistead Maupin than Eudora Welty...except the story is told through the mouth of a southern no-nonsense sexually unrepressed, unflappable lesbian named Molly. She could just as easily be the unsinkable Molly Bolt for all that she survives.
Set in the 1950s and 60s, when same-sex intercourse was grounds for arrest, expulsion from school, and other forms of social and economic repression, Molly sails on, not without taking her share of lumps, but nevertheless unshaken in her core principles. I do think the last chapters are an important denouement, as she confronts and makes her own peace with her violently homophobic mother. To Brown's credit, there is no fairy tale ending. As we leave her, Molly is struggling with sexism and heterosexism. But she is determined, and that determination makes you root for her also.
This is a page-turner that makes no apologies for its frank, positive view of sexuality, and that has little patience for cowardice in the other. Brown also tells a story about social class, and how hard it is to escape one's class or the expectations of one's culture. Published in 1973, this book must have curled hair!

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emilyc2017
Sep 12, 2017

The sheer will and determination of Molly Bolt is inspiring. I loved reading about her unapologetically challenging the status quo throughout all her formative years and living her life her way and never giving up. We have one life and one life only we deserve to be happy and to live our lives our way. I can see why this book is a classic.

s
sviera
Jul 05, 2011

A must read!

j
joannet2
Mar 16, 2011

I enjoyed this coming of age story of Molly Bolt and strong willed, smart and funny lesbian growing up in the 50's. There are some good comments about society's feeling on lesbianism at that time and I could relate to some of what the character was struggling with. However, I did find it unrealistic that Molly managed to get every woman she wanted to sleep with her and didn't seem to struggle with her sexual identity too much.

Given that the book is a page turner and quite short I would recommend you give it a read because there are some great lines in the book that make up for some of its faults.

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m
mayog
Jan 03, 2019

The most revolutionary thing you can do is to be yourself, to speak your truth, to open your arms to life including the pain. Passion. Find your passions.

m
mayog
Jan 03, 2019

I began to wonder if girls could marry girls, because I was sure I wanted to marry Leota and look in her green eyes forever. But I would only marry her if I didn't have to do the housework. I was certain of that. But if Leota really didn't want to do it either, I guessed I'd do it. I'd do anything for Leota.

m
mayog
Jan 03, 2019

I had never thought I had much in common with anybody. I had no mother, no father, no roots, no biological similarities called sisters and brothers. And for a future I didn't want a split-level home with a station wagon, pastel refrigerator, and a houseful of blonde children evenly spaced through the years. I didn't want to walk into the pages of McCall's magazine and become the model housewife. I didn't even want a husband or any man for that matter. I wanted to go my own way. That's all I think I ever wanted, to go my own way and maybe find some love here and there. Love, but not the now and forever kind with chains around your vagina and a short circuit in your brain. I'd rather be alone.

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mayog
Jan 03, 2019

mayog thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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mayog
Jan 03, 2019

Sexual Content: The main character is sexually active with both boys and girls throughout the novel.

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