Naked in the Promised Land: A Memoir

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This modern classic of LGBT writing includes an introduction from Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties, and a new afterword from Lillian Faderman.

Born in 1940, Lillian Faderman is the only child of an uneducated and unmarried Jewish woman who left Latvia to seek a better life in America. 

Lillian grew up in poverty, but fantasised about becoming an actress. When her dreams led to the dangerous, seductive world of the sex trade and sham-marriages in Hollywood of the fifties, she realised she was attracted to women, and that show-biz is as cruel as they say.

Desperately seeking to make her life meaningful, she studied at Berkeley; paying her way by working as a pin-up model and burlesque dancer, hiding her lesbian affairs from the outside world. At last she became a brilliant student and the woman who becomes a loving partner, a devoted mother, an acclaimed writer and ground-breaking pioneer of gay and lesbian scholarship.

Told with wrenching immediacy and great power, Naked in the Promised Land is the story of an exceptional woman and her remarkable, unorthodox life.

Author: Lillian Faderman

Paperback  Published April 2020  480 pages

“Lillian Faderman's portrait of her mother and aunt, lone survivors of their slaughtered family, who have come to America laden with hope, is full of tenderness and candor and sharp, often hilarious wit. It is her unsparing portrait of herself, however, that makes this book so riveting. She is serious and ambitious, loving and stubborn. She is ready to risk everything for knowledge. She also writes beautiful sentences, and her book is likely to become a classic self-portrait in a time of change in America” –  Colm Tóibín

“A startling, dark, and wryly eloquent retelling of the American Dream. Who'd have thought a professor's life could be such a gripping page-turner?” –  Emma Donoghue, author of ROOM and SLAMMERKIN

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