Queer Pulp Fiction

Developed by India-Bleu Niehoff, Information Specialist Intern
Office of The Gender and Women’s Studies Librarian
University of Wisconsin System

About This Guide

This bibliography is number 97 in the series “Bibliographies in Gender and Women’s Studies,” published by the University of Wisconsin System Office of the Gender and Women’s Studies Librarian.


Pulp fiction gained prominence in the early 1950s. Pulp fiction is so named, as the cheap paperback books that were widely available in drugstores across the country were made out of cheap wood pulp. This is a consequence of the United States government distribution of cheap paper-back books to US soldiers during World War II. Previously, books had been confined to only the wealthy or those in elite and highly educated circles. As a result, there was an increased demand post-war for readily-available and cheap books. This resulted in books, which used to be extremely costly to produce, and were restricted to the few bookstores in the country, becoming widely available at any drug or corner store. This broad availability was incredibly important as it was the first instance of the widespread dissemination of literature to the working class. 

Queer pulp fiction, specifically, also gained popularity in the 1950s. These novels which explored the loves and lives of gay men and women in America were crucial in not only the development of personal identity but that of LGBTQ+ communities. Queer pulp fiction stories were the first real act of subversive literature in the 20th century as they were briefly safe from censors and provided new avenues for information to spread and for communities to form. Queer pulp fiction should be viewed as historical writing, as it showcases the lived experiences of gay men and lesbian women in the 1950s and 1960s. A time when censorship and oppression were at an all-time high.

About Queer Pulp Fiction

Collections of Queer Pulp Fiction

Select List of Queer Pulp Fiction Titles

  • Amory, R. (1966). Song of the loon: A gay pastoral, in five books and an interlude. Greenleaf Classics.
  • Anderson, H. (1937). Pity for women. Doubleday, Doran.
  • Bannon, A. (1957). Odd girl out. Gold Medal Books.
  • Bannon, A. (1959). I am a woman. Gold Medal Books.
  • Bannon, A. (1959). Women in the shadows. Gold Medal Books.
  • Bannon, A. (1960). Journey to a woman. Gold Medal Books.
  • Bannon, A. (1962). BeeBo Brinker . Gold Medal Books .
  • Highsmith, P. (1983). The price of salt. Naiad Press .
  • Holliday, D. (1966). Man from C.A.M.P. Corinth.
  • Meaker, M. (1990). Shockproof Sydney skate. Plume.
  • Packer, V. (1952). Spring fire. Gold Medal Books.
  • Torrès, T. (1950). Women’s barracks. Fawcett Gold Medal.
  • Viereck, G. S. (1952). Men into beasts. Fawcett Publications.
  • Wilhelm, G. (1961). The strange path. Berkley Pub. Co.
  • Wilhelm, G. (1984). We too are drifting: A novel. Naiad Press.