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Patience and Sarah (1969)

de Isabel Miller

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

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7771828,907 (3.89)39
Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:

"A remarkable story."Publishers Weekly

Set in the nineteenth century, Isabel Miller's classic lesbian novel traces the relationship between Patience White, an educated painter, and Sarah Dowling, a cross-dressing farmer, whose romantic bond does not sit well with the puritanical New England farming community in which they live. They choose to live together and love each other freely, even though they know of no precedents for their relationship; they must trust their own instincts and see beyond the disdain of their neighbors. Ultimately, they are forced to make life-changing decisions that depend on their courage and their commitment to one another.

First self-published in 1969 in an edition of one thousand copies, the author hand-sold the book on New York street corners; it garnered increasing attention to the point of receiving the American Library Association's first Gay Book Award in 1971. McGraw-Hill's version of the book a year later brought it to mainstream bookstores across the country.

Patience & Sarah is a historical romance whose drama was a touchstone for the burgeoning gay and women's activism of the late 1960s and early 1970s. It celebrates the joys of an uninhibited love between two strong women with a confident defiance that remains relevant today.

This edition features an appendix of supplementary materials about Patience & Sarah and the author, as well as an introduction by Emma Donoghue, the Irish novelist whose numerous books include the contemporary Dublin novels Stirfry and Hood, the latter of which won the ALA's Gay and Lesbian Book Award in 1995.

Little Sister's Classics is an Arsenal Pulp Press imprint dedicated to reviving lost and out-of-print gay and lesbian classic books, both fiction and nonfiction. The series is produced in conjunction with Little Sister's Books, the heroic gay Vancouver bookstore well-known for its anti-censorship efforts.

Isabel Miller was the author of numerous novels, including two under her real name, Alma Routsong. She died in 1996.

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» Veja também 39 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 18 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I read this novel years ago and loved it! Looking forward to re-reading. ( )
  Chris.Wolak | Oct 13, 2022 |
This is such a fascinating story. Isabel Miller learns of two real life pioneering women, Mary Ann Willson and her partner, known only as "Miss Brundage," and has to write about them. Willson and Brundage set off to find a place where they could live as an openly homosexual couple. Their courage sparked a story in Miller and Patience and Sarah was born.
To meet the women: Sarah Dowling was raised as a boy; taught to shoot a gun and chop firewood like a man. In Patience's mind, Sarah needed rescuing from that existence. Patience White was a demure and quiet painter, but it was she who started planting the seeds of running away early in her relationship with Sarah. "But could you take it pioneering with you?" Patience asked of the ax Sarah was wielding.
Patience and Sarah was originally published under the title, A Place For Us. The book ends with Patience and Sarah leaving their old lives behind to find a new place where they could be themselves as a couple. Their love endures ridicule and prejudice and even among themselves they harbor doubts. Sheer courage carries them forward.
Patience and Sarah could be considered the very first lesbian historical novel. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Nov 12, 2018 |
i read this entire book with a smile on my face and a smile in my heart, as embarrassed as i am to write that. i'm embarrassed, too, to say how much i truly like this book, but i do. i think that was true on my last read, too, but i didn't let myself see or say that. (much like patience on her first try, ha!) this isn't just a romance - it's full of good writing and excellent one-liners. it manages to be what all the contemporary romance books that i've read aren't. it has story, feeling, character, believable tension, humor, and writing. (not so believable how quickly they fell for each other, but otherwise everything was.)

the point of view switches feel just a little unusual to me, maybe because we don't get any overlapping story from each of the women; we're just told the story chronologically in switching points of view. it feels different than what i'm used to, but it works so well here, and the difference in style in their chapters is well done.

i love so much about this. there was something on nearly every page that i wanted to note, including in the wonderful introduction by emma donoghue that is included in this edition. here's what i limited myself to:

"Time enough later to teach her that it's better to be a real woman than an imitation man, and that when someone chooses a woman to go away with it's because a woman is what's preferred."

i guess i breezed over this passage last time, but this time it really struck me that religion so often puts suffering on a pedestal: "I struggled for calm and unselfishness, to be of service to others, and I thought, why, this is suffering, this is the pain of life, this is what they talk abut in Church, this daily struggle to keep going without knowing why. And I saw what was meant by faith: faith is the belief that this life is not our only chance. Wavering of faith means beginning to believe in this life and wanting to live it, denying all duties and dashing off uncontrolled." so losing faith is like gaining yourself and the belief that you deserve happiness and fulfillment. boom, wow.

"By March I was healed up. Every outside part of me worked just right." i love the simple way sarah lets us know she's still hurting so much emotionally.

"We stayed that way a time that can't be said the ordinary way. One minute - twenty minutes - a thousand years. I don't know.
I felt her take my hand. I heard her say, 'Come on,' and I stood up ready to go anywhere, to her bed or off a cliff or into the fire, anywhere she took me."

"You like it up there, looking at me, making me wait. Before it can go to your head I pull you down and we join our mouths together in a seal I am willing to make permanent and then someone says, 'What are you doing?' not gentle or in sympathy or in any way that belongs in the same room with love..."

"'It may be that one must be a male, or be owned by one, not to be their natural victim.' She sighed, so sad. 'It may be that there's no place on earth for women who refuse to bend their necks to be the wards of males - neatly transferred from father to brother to husband to son to grave.'"

this made me laugh out loud - in trying to make sarah more ladylike for the public: "The main thing left was my walk. What she wanted of me on that was no fit thing for an able-bodied full-grown person with a place to get to..."

"I held Sarah's hand and felt the ancient sea and the new wheels carry us to a life we had no pattern for, that no one we knew of had ever lived, that we must invent for ourselves on a razor's edge, and I tipped my head back and sang three hallelujahs."

"As Edward had said, men make the world go. How does a woman go up to a strange man and announce that she wants to buy a bit of it?"

"We walked back along the main street, past the taverns and inns loud with rivermen and drovers and teamsters. I remembered how once I had envied men because they could have what I needed but could not have. But they couldn't, after all, have what I needed."

maybe this whole book is a little too much. too sweet, too romantic. i don't know. maybe we need that sometimes. i love this. if they had taken more than one brief visit to fall in love it might be perfect to me. (5 stars)

from oct 2016:

3.75 stars. it surprises me how much i liked this. i can't point to exactly why, but it's sweetly satisfying. the writing is good - in some places even quite good. the voices of patience and sarah are distinct and compelling. it reads easily and realistically (except perhaps for how quickly the two fell in love). there is quite a bit of sex (although mostly off page or at least left undescribed); the writing is straightforward and all in all this was a refreshing read that i really liked. i have a feeling that there are things in here that may bother me on a second reading, but this time around, for some reason, it all rang true to me.

"Time enough later to teach her that it's better to be a real woman than an imitation man, and that when someone chooses a woman to go away with it's because a woman is what's preferred."

"Going couldn't be fast enough or hard enough to suit me. I wanted to walk till my feet bled and my knuckles dragged and my belly broke, to see if maybe I could hurt enough someplace else to tire out the knot in my chest."

"I felt her take my hand. I heard her say, 'Come on,' and I stood up ready to go anywhere, to her bed or off a cliff or into the fire, anywhere she took me."

"I held Sarah's hand and felt the ancient sea and the new wheels carry us to a life we had no pattern for, that no one we knew of had ever lived, that we must invent for ourselves on a razor's edge, and I tipped my head back and sang three hallelujahs." ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Jan 29, 2018 |
We read this "Lesbian Classic" for my book group. It was written in 1965, I think, and is a historical novel set in the 19th century; about two women building a life together. I read it back in the day, and liked it then, but was afraid that it would be too romantic and marshmallowy sweet on a re-read. It kind of is, but it is well written and, well, sweet.

I didn't have my old copy (maybe I lent it to someone who didn't give it back?) and so bought this new addition from Little Sister Press. That was a plus, because it has a forward by Emma Donaghue and an afterward with a lot of interesting and gossipy information about Alma Routsong (Isabel Miller was her pen name.) ( )
  banjo123 | Jan 28, 2018 |
My love for this story knows no bounds, and that it was based on the life of a real woman - this made it all the more poignant to me.



The obstacles that Patience and Sarah had to overcome just to live, love and be together... I can't even imagine how much harder it was than it is today. Even today there is no great shakes to the reaction of the world around you to an LGBT romance, but it's getting better - and we still have a very long way to go!!! For a beautiful story of love and an honest life together, I highly recommend this tale. I especially recommend the Audible Audio, as Jean Smart and Janis Iain bring these two to life through their emotion filled voices. Absolutely worth of 5 stars for that ALONE! ( )
  ilerya82 | Sep 19, 2017 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (2 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Miller, Isabelautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Donoghue, EmmaIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ian, JanisNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Smart, JeanNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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"Patience and Sarah" originally published as "A Place for Us"
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Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:

"A remarkable story."Publishers Weekly

Set in the nineteenth century, Isabel Miller's classic lesbian novel traces the relationship between Patience White, an educated painter, and Sarah Dowling, a cross-dressing farmer, whose romantic bond does not sit well with the puritanical New England farming community in which they live. They choose to live together and love each other freely, even though they know of no precedents for their relationship; they must trust their own instincts and see beyond the disdain of their neighbors. Ultimately, they are forced to make life-changing decisions that depend on their courage and their commitment to one another.

First self-published in 1969 in an edition of one thousand copies, the author hand-sold the book on New York street corners; it garnered increasing attention to the point of receiving the American Library Association's first Gay Book Award in 1971. McGraw-Hill's version of the book a year later brought it to mainstream bookstores across the country.

Patience & Sarah is a historical romance whose drama was a touchstone for the burgeoning gay and women's activism of the late 1960s and early 1970s. It celebrates the joys of an uninhibited love between two strong women with a confident defiance that remains relevant today.

This edition features an appendix of supplementary materials about Patience & Sarah and the author, as well as an introduction by Emma Donoghue, the Irish novelist whose numerous books include the contemporary Dublin novels Stirfry and Hood, the latter of which won the ALA's Gay and Lesbian Book Award in 1995.

Little Sister's Classics is an Arsenal Pulp Press imprint dedicated to reviving lost and out-of-print gay and lesbian classic books, both fiction and nonfiction. The series is produced in conjunction with Little Sister's Books, the heroic gay Vancouver bookstore well-known for its anti-censorship efforts.

Isabel Miller was the author of numerous novels, including two under her real name, Alma Routsong. She died in 1996.

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