Once upon a time, the love that dared not speak its name inspired many books that “spoke” of that love either openly and proudly or, more often than not, illicitly and tittilatingly. Ann Bannon, wrote of lesbian intrigue in a series of pulp fiction novels that would later be collectively staged (under the guidance of Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner) as The Beebo Brinker Chronicles. Ann wrote boldly, ground-breakingly, despite her own traditional marriage and because of her own passionate, if unorthodox, yearnings. At home, with family and friends, Ann Weldy was the author who dared not speak her pen name.
Today, Ann Bannon visits The High Bar to raise a toast to and raise the bar for… lesbian pulp fiction. And, in turn, we raise a toast to Ann Bannon for all she has done for countless women (and men) over the past half century who took solace in her prosaic explorations of love and lust in such a manner to give them the confidence to speak of their own.
For a little bit more of my conversation with Ann — shot after the director Jason Ganwich called Cut! — try this episode’s Chaser, courtesy of The High Bar.