Naked in the Promised Land – A Memoir (Paperback)

This new edition includes an introduction from Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties, and an afterword from the author. Born in 1940, Lillian Faderman is the only child of an uneducated and unmarried Jewish woman who left Latvia with her sister to seek a better life in America. However, their family were murdered by Nazis and their shtetl destroyed in the war. Her mother, racked by guilt at having left them behind, suffered from psychosis. The only relief she had from this and the poverty in which they lived, was her daughter, Lilly. Lilly grows into Lil, a beautiful young woman who discovers that she is attracted to other women, and who finds herself in the dangerous but seductive world of addicts, pimps, prostitutes and sham-marriages of Hollywood in the fifties. Desperately seeking to make her life meaningful and to redeem her mother’s suffering, she studies 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 becomes Lillian, 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.

Lillian Faderman

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Description

This new edition includes an introduction from Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties, and an afterword from the author. Born in 1940, Lillian Faderman is the only child of an uneducated and unmarried Jewish woman who left Latvia with her sister to seek a better life in America. However, their family were murdered by Nazis and their shtetl destroyed in the war. Her mother, racked by guilt at having left them behind, suffered from psychosis. The only relief she had from this and the poverty in which they lived, was her daughter, Lilly. Lilly grows into Lil, a beautiful young woman who discovers that she is attracted to other women, and who finds herself in the dangerous but seductive world of addicts, pimps, prostitutes and sham-marriages of Hollywood in the fifties. Desperately seeking to make her life meaningful and to redeem her mother’s suffering, she studies 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 becomes Lillian, 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.