'Lesbian appetites': Food, sexuality and community in feminist autobiography

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Food and its emotional and political significance pervades autobiographical writing by lesbians. This article traces the connections between food, sexuality and identity through four exemplary texts - Jeanette Winterson's Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Audre Lorde's Zami, Dorothy Allison's 'A Lesbian Appetite' and Anna Livia's 'Tongues or Fingers' - where food is crucial in both defining and contesting lesbian identity, sexuality and community. Food memories and histories are portrayed as constitutive of the self, reaching back to childhood and images of 'home'. On the other hand, they are also related to the social context of class inequalities and gendered hierarchies. Within these autobiographical narratives, food both constitutes and expresses a sense of self, playing a crucial part in the construction of the writers' complex, multi-layered narratives of identity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-485
Number of pages17
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2006


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