Visible Old Lesbians: Suzette Mayr’s The Widows (1998)



In this chapter, Hess considers Suzette Mayr’s postmodern Canadian novel The Widows as a significant exception to the “hypervisibility” of young, chic, lesbian women during the 1990s. The author explores the novel’s revisionist approach to history via the trope of the “ghosted lesbian,” which she engages to highlight the narrative’s exposure of the label “widow” as one that has historically overwritten and obscured women’s non-normative life courses. Hess argues that The Widows redresses older women’s historical invisibility by centering its narrative on three septuagenarian and octogenarian women who come to insist on their personal agency, sexual desire, and visibility, and by envisioning a lesbian feminist legacy that stands in opposition to heteronormative forms of inheritance and generativity.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Goethe University FrankfurtFrankfurt am MainGermany

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