By Tereska Torres
(Lesbian Stories, Pulp Novels)
Publisher: She Winked Press (ISBN: 978-1-936456-14-7)
With all of its revelations and tenderness, Women's Barracks is an important book because it tells a story that had never been truly told before--the story of women in war. It also has the special distinction of being the first pulp novel featuring lesbian characters ever published and became a record-breaking bestseller.
Women's Barracks is one of the rare books written by an author who lived with the girls and women in this autobiographical novel that takes place in London, England during World War II. In her telling of these women's stories, Torres remains nonjudgmental of the lesbian relationships these women explored. Perhaps as a result, Women's Barracks was banned in several states for being obscene. The House Select Committee on Current Pornographic Materials denounced the book in 1952 as an illustration of how the newly emerging paperback industry was breeding and promoting moral depravity. By today's standards, of course, the book is somewhat tame; however, the eroticism and honesty with which Torres writes immerses the reader in the love, tenderness, loyalty and passion that women share with each other.