The L Life

January 23rd, 2011 | Uncategorized

Photo on 2011-01-23 at 11.52

This very handsome volume just came out from Abrams, the fancy art book publisher. Erin McHugh wrote short profiles/interviews with various lesbians and Jennifer May took amazing photos. Kate Clinton, Urvashi Vaid, Susan Love, Phyllis Lyon, Christine Vachon, Linda Villarosa, Sharon Kleinbaum, some yahoo named Alison Bechdel, and many more. All kinds of women doing all kinds of things. Here’s the trailer. If your coffee table is feeling naked and neglected, this could be just the thing for it.

39 Responses to “The L Life”

  1. Minnie says:

    Congratulations, you’re right there on the cover!

  2. Rachel Green says:

    Fabulous! Congratulations!

  3. liza says:

    Yay. A book that almost dares to speak its name. Mazel Tov Alison. Nice that it seems to be a lot about older-ish women. I believe our time has come back.

    PS: if you all haven’t already, please check out the new-ish annotated online archive of DYKE A Quarterly and please feel encouraged to leave a comment there. It’s in blog format.

  4. Mentor says:

    [By the way, [HERE’S] the listing for the book over at Amazon, which contains access to a few of the individual photos…

    …including [THIS ONE] which, while displayed at a reduced size, will no doubt be of especial interest. –Mentor]

  5. Calico says:

    Yahoo? I think not! ; )

  6. shadocat says:

    A birthday present for my gal (this coming Saturday)

  7. Diana says:

    Too cool. Nice to see us elders (whatever that means) represented.
    Congratulations, Alison!

  8. Marj says:

    I like yahoos.

  9. deb says:


  10. Erin McHugh says:

    Thanks, Alison! And now to try and steal that adorable picture of you reading THE L LIFE. And thanks, ladies, for all your comments.

  11. khatgrrl says:

    I can’t wait for this to be released. Congrats to all involved!

  12. Kate L says:

    Wow! I mean, wow! and, may I just say of all involved, oh, baby, Oh, Baby, Oh, Baby!

  13. In the photo Mentor generously shared of AN standing in front of a ski chalet or whatever, why are there no footsteps in the snow around her? It’s like a Charles Addams cartoon.

    Also, when oh when can we get a lesbian book/logo/design art that does NOT rely on pink? I am certain it’s deliberate.

    But the photos are great, and the book is a good start, and I like Kate Clinton and so many others identify as lesbian (gasp, the whole word) ahead of being a woman, although they are of course overlapping categories. No wonder the owl is so interested.

  14. AB i mean. who the hell is AN?

  15. Ian says:

    Oh, congratulations AB! How amazing to be on the cover with such other inspirational women.

  16. ksbel6 says:

    @Maggie…I’m pretty sure that’s AB’s house. I’m also pretty sure many will correct me if I wrong.

  17. jgp says:

    No footprints because AB seems capable of levitation, of course. Levity is the soul of wit, after all.

  18. Calico says:

    #14 Maggie – Anais Nin? : D
    Maybe that was a trick of the subconscious…

  19. judybusy says:

    Oooh, can’t wait till it’s released! Congrats, Alison! Maggie, I agree about the pink! Is it meant to make us less threatening?

  20. Acilius says:

    You’re definitely not a yahoo, much more a houyhnhnm.

  21. Acilius says:

    Not to suggest that you resemble the houyhnhnms physically, of course, but in every other way.

  22. Acilius, nice to hear that someone else thinks of Swift every time they hear yahoo.

  23. rinky says:

    OOOh, that looks very very appealling. Gonna look at the trailer now

  24. Alex K says:

    Big house, big… heat bills. AB, how much of that woodpile Holly and you were a-stackin’ and a-packin’ is LEFT after the recent cold snap?

    [I assume you are referring to the video shown on this blog-post?

    Bear in mind, the truckload represents a single cord; most houses that depend exclusively (or at least primarily) on wood-fire heating require multiple cords to get through a real heating season. –Mentor]

  25. @Alex, I burned about an entire cord today alone! When it’s this cold, the logs are incinerated instantly!

    It was 25 below when I got up at 7 this morning. Threre was a high of around 12 above this afternoon. Now it’s 8 below, but it was 10 below an hour ago. Guess it’s warming up.

  26. Alex K says:

    @Mentor / AB: Whoa! 2008 that dump truck backed up and splattered wood all over your yard? How time flies…

    When I lived in Pittsburgh — big house, but a row house — a load like that saw me through a winter.

    Yes, it was a row house — less free wall to leak heat. Yes, it wasn’t Vermont — didn’t get all that cold likely either. Yes, I fired up the stove once in the morning, once on getting home from work, once before going to bed at night… instead of stoking it all day long. But… one cord saw me through. Winter and summer, Equitable Gas, $40 / month. (Hot showers.)

    Coupla cords, eh? Dang.

    Still too cold for sugaring, sounds like.

  27. Alex K says:

    Oh, AB — my dad told us stories, sitting on the bedside after we’d been tucked in, about when he was growing up. The family stories. The day the lynx stalked his mother on the way to school. The night the trees froze.

    The night the trees froze — a sunny, winter-warm day. Sugaring weather, probably. And then the cold came in and the noises began. Like gunshot. One after another from the woods.

    Sap that ran and then froze and split the trees asunder, the noise being the trees tearing themselves apart.

    Was it true? I don’t know. Have you ever lived through something of the sort?

  28. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    I love that you’re a professional lesbian, AB. Is that what’s on your business card?

  29. Kat says:

    “It was 25 below when I got up at 7 this morning”

    Good God, I can’t even imagine what that feels like.

    And I won’t even get into what the weather’s been like lately in Northern California…..

  30. Minnie says:

    Viva insulation and double-glazing! Those’ll help keep the heat outside, too, in the summer.

  31. ksbel6 says:

    @Alex K: I’ve heard trees breaking noises, but not from the inside out, from freezing rain. Oh, it is terrible. Made me want to cry…it is like the trees are screaming and you cannot do a thing to stop the pain. I thought of those noises during Avatar when the huge tree gets blasted (spoiler, sorry) and I did not think their noise specialists had any idea how to get that to sound right. Kind of put a damper on the movie for me.

  32. Andrew B says:

    Alex K, 27, the kind of thing your father described does happen, although I think he may have been dramatizing it a little. If you go out in the woods (deciduous forest) on a cold, sunny day, you’ll hear cracking and popping. What I’ve read is that it’s due to the combination of cold temperatures and solar heating. As the parts of the trees that are in sunlight warm up, they expand, while the shaded parts don’t. The resulting strains produce the noise. I think you can get a similar effect from general changes in temperature, e.g. early in the day or just after dusk. But trees being torn apart, either from temperature differentials or large amounts of sap freezing rapidly? Maybe. I’ve never experienced it.

  33. Alex K says:

    is a quick overview. Turns out Dad may well have been right.

  34. […] Alison Bechdel posted a picture of herself with the coffee table book The L-Life. […]

  35. A few years ago on April 1 NPR ran one of their radio hoaxes where the All Things Considered interviewer explained that due to maple trees in Vermont, etc not being tapped for sugaring as reliably as they once were, trees where experiencing a springtime over-build of sap and occasionally exploding from it. They interviewed one Vermonter who explained, in a strained voice, how his brother had been killed by an exploding tree and now he conscientiously tapped all his woodland trees each year. They talked of how the first Europeans failed to learn tapping from the native inhabitants at their peril, but then caught on as they lost folks to bursting trees. It went on from there.

    I had not noticed the date and thus was entirely taken in, along with the 8-year-old boy who was avidly listening with me. I spent the evening intermittently upset about how we were fucking with the natural cycle — until the next day when I heard the follow-up to their brilliantly-executed joke.

    So now I am leery of any exploding tree story…

  36. Ah, now that I read Alex’s link above, I see plausible proof plus a reference to the hoax I was taken in by. Haha on me.

  37. sparks says:


    (And I won’t mention the snow drops and witch hazel in my neck of the woods. Nope, won’t mention them.)

  38. Aunt Soozie says:

    Love the new eyewear Alison. I’m glad that the trend is going towards larger lenses since some of us need progressive lenses these days.

  39. Adrienne says:

    OOOOH my coffee table needs that ASAP! Congrats on the cover, it must feel amazing to be a part if something so positive! ;D