January 1997, Polity
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Exploring different cultural forms, including twentieth-century fiction and Hollywood cinema, Hoogland addresses topical theoretical questions concerning the shifting significance of lesbian sexuality as they arise from careful textual analyses. Among the examples discussed are Alice Walker's The Color Purple, Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar, and the Hollywood thriller Basic Instinct. Guiding concerns are the interrelations between knowledge and desire, between sexuality and gender, and the violent operation of heterosexual ideologies. Adopting a psychoanalytical perspective, Hoogland concludes by critically interrogating feminism's ambivalent stakes in female same-sex desire.
Lesbian Configurations is both a valuable introduction to an expanding field and an original contribution to current debates.