By Lillian Faderman
Born in 1940, Lillian Faderman used to be the single baby of an uneducated and single immigrant Jewish girl. Her mom, whose relatives perished within the Holocaust, used to be racked via guilt at having come to the USA and left them in the back of; she suffered recurrent psychotic episodes. Her in basic terms get away from the brutal hard work of her sweatshop task was once her fiercely enjoyed daughter, Lilly, whose poignant dream all through an impoverished youth used to be to turn into a film megastar and "rescue" her mom. Lilly grew as much as turn into Lil, outwardly difficult, inwardly blameless, hungry for romance and luck. a stunning younger girl who used to be studying that her private erotic and emotional connections have been to girls, she stumbled on herself in a perilous yet seductive lesbian underworld of addicts, pimps, and prostitutes. Desperately looking to make her existence significant and to redeem her mother's anguish, she entered the collage of California at Berkeley and labored her manner via collage as a burlesque stripper. a super scholar, she eventually accomplished a Ph.D. eventually she grew to become Lillian, the girl who in time turned a loving associate, a loyal mom, an acclaimed author, and a charismatic, groundbreaking student of homosexual and lesbian reports. informed with wrenching immediacy and nice strength, this is often a rare memoir: the nakedly sincere -- and extremely American -- tale of a great girl and her awesome, unorthodox lifestyles.
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Additional info for Naked in the Promised Land: A Memoir
20 naked in the promised land I hopped to the lamppost near the curb and twirled round and round it, making myself dizzy. I didn’t want to think. A starched pink and white little girl about my age walked by, snug between her father and mother. She stared open-mouthed, as though I looked funny, and I put my thumb to my nose and wiggled my four ﬁngers at her, making a rude sound with my tongue and lips. She did the same to me. ” Her father slapped her hand down, and they walked on. When I next looked at my mother, she was talking to a man who was wearing a gray suit and a pearl gray Homburg.
A few weeks later he was absent again, and he never came back to school. Melvin Kaplan and his little sister said that Arthur’s father couldn’t take care of him, so he had to go live at the Vista Del Mar Home, which was for kids who didn’t have any parents. Would I be sent to the Vista Del Mar Home someday? But sometimes my mother seemed all right. She’d be with me and talk to me as though nothing terrible had ever been wrong, and I’d almost forget how sick she’d been. Sometimes she’d even talk about her family in Europe.
I knew enough about anti-Semitism by then to understand that being Jewish could be a handicap. But he had made it. With my Semitic hair and eyes and my nose that was slightly convex where it should have been slightly concave, I knew already that I would never be beautiful like the shiksas, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Barbara Stanwyck. But I could be like him. ” I could do that just as he did, falling on one knee with my arms open wide. My mother told me that sometimes movie directors found their stars in the most unexpected places.
Naked in the Promised Land: A Memoir by Lillian Faderman