VG LEE
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Always you, Edina
As you step outside
Diary of a Provincial Lesbian
The Woman in Beige
The Comedienne

Books : THE COMEDIENNE - 2011

The Comedienne

THE COMEDIENNE is the story of Joanie Littler, part time gardener, aspiring stand-up comedienne. It traces her life from childhood, living in Birmingham with her mother and the bossy neighbour Mrs. Botolph, through Joan's several relationships - with Steff who preferred 'gentle sex' and sad droopy Rachel, with Sandy Banks who preferred her mum and her blazer collection, with the love of her life Susan who seemed to prefer almost anybody.

Left alone with just Edith Piaf the cat for company, Joanie invents a lover for herself called Freddy, a woman who lives in Littlehampton and is always on call to sick and aging parents. Freddy will be part of her proposed comedy act and also her passport back into the world of couples. However, Freddy's fictional life becomes so complicated that Susan begins to suspect Freddy is not all she seems.

'When did you see her last?', Susan persisted. 'You're always telling us what she's doing, but I'm never quite clear where you are in these stories'.
'Well, I',m either there or I'm not there', I replied weakly. 'We talk every day on the phone. Actually', my imagination rallying at last, 'her mother's been in hospital for most of the summer. Touch and go really. Freddy's been torn in half between hospital, home and her horticultural practice'.
'Torn in three Joan', Susan said. I wasn't quite sure whether she was making fun of me or not.

'THE COMEDIENNE has an intrinsic truth that pulls you in before you know it. Although owing a certain something to Jeanette Winterson, V.G. Lee is the first lesbian writer to specialize in that peculiarly Northern deadpan style that observes the humorous side of the casual cruelty inherent in human behavior'.
Time Out
 
Her tender and quirky humour set well with both lesbians and heterosexuals. An important note to those among us looking for international lesbian comediennes.
The Lesbian Review of Books
 
A touching evocation of loneliness and the complex relationship between an aging mother and daughter.
Andrea Levy
 
A sympathetic protagonist in the tradition of Lucky Jim - Grade A.
Girlfriends

 

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