Cover image for Callaloo & other lesbian love tales
Callaloo & other lesbian love tales
Barnett, LaShonda K. (LaShonda Katrice), 1974-
Publication Information:
Norwich, VT : New Victoria Publishers, 1999.
Physical Description:
123 pages ; 18 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A collection of stories presenting snapshots of lesbian lives. Whether the women involved are cooking food, going to see an art show or spending an afternoon together, the author's youthful and exuberant first person narratives reflect on cultures, intimacy and sexuality.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The 16 short fictions in this debut collection probe and celebrate aspects of lesbian desire, mostly among women of color. The stories are unremittingly earnest, the author plainly speaking her desire to portray women delighting in each other and struggling to overcome prejudice, though she is also careful to depict lesbians experiencing grief and loss. In "Miss Hannah's Lesson," an 18-year-old slave falls in love and has an erotic awaking with the kind mistress who teaches her to read. Unfortunately, Barnett mixes stilted, formal language approximating 19th-century speech with modern-day anachronisms, and the dialogue is clunky and far from credible. "Bitter Wine" portrays the decades-delayed consummation of another girlhood crush. The longest piece, "Meatloaf," follows a protagonist who mourns her troubled lover, while "Losing Sight of Lavender" presents itself as the journal of a Princeton graduate coping with HIV. Barnett clearly wishes to move and console her readers, and to do so with a minimum of artifice. But her prose is often wincingly awkward and without grace, overpowered by clich‚s and solecisms. Many plots here are promising, yet Barnett undermines their potential with narration and dialogue garnered from outworn, simplified truisms of identity politics. There is little room for nuance or subtle characterization in these stories, but there is plenty of yearning, healing and romance: "the woman that believes is out there and as I work on healing I'm waiting for her." Regrettably, readers hoping for a fresh new voice in lesbian short fiction are still waiting as well. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved