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Katherine V. Forrest

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Katherine V. Forrest
Born1939 (age 82–83)
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
OccupationNovelist, editor
Period20th century
SubjectLesbian literature

Katherine V. Forrest (born 1939) is a Canadian-born American writer, best known for her novels about lesbian police detective Kate Delafield. Her books have won and been finalists for Lambda Literary Award twelve times, as well as other awards. She has been referred to by some "a founding mother of lesbian fiction writing."[1]

Personal life

Forrest was born in 1939 in Windsor, Ontario.

She currently lives with her wife, Jo Hercus, in Palm Springs, California.[1]


Forrest is best known for her nine novels about Kate Delafield, the first lesbian police detective in the American lesbian mystery genre[2] and is described as "Miss Marple with k.d. lang, Sherlock Holmes with Candace Gingrich, and you've got Kate Delafield: ex-Marine, homicide detective for the LAPD, queer-as-the-day-is-long heroine."[3] The second novel in the series, Murder at the Nightwood Bar, was optioned for film by director Tim Hunter.[4] The screenplay had been written and roles cast with Mary-Louise Parker as Delafield and Tom Arnold as her police partner,[5] but the project was ultimately shelved.

Her romance Curious Wine is considered[2] a classic of American lesbian literature.[6] In discussion of the "light" element of the lesbian romance Forrest said, "I think it's political as hell... Here were two women who had a lot of choices in life, a lot of options, and out of all of those options they chose the hardest one, which was to love each other."[2] The novel is credited as one that "broke through many misconceptions about lesbians and lesbian relationships."[3]

Of her personal political sensibilities, Forrest said, "We are the only subculture that incorporates both genders, all races, all colors, all creeds... Being visible can make us free...and give us a power we have never known."[5] After relocating from Los Angeles to San Francisco, near The Castro district, she said, "It would be impossible to live here and not be political."[5] This was a marked departure from her early life, of which she wrote, "Even after I committed the Big Sin and made that irrevocable passage, and even though I thereafter found women who loved me, and even though I had loving relationships, I remained essentially in the grip of all the early shame and my own powerful homophobia."[7]

Her work is also noted for unprecedented eroticism and display of lesbian sexuality. Forrest noted that classic mysteries such as Agatha Christie might not even contain a hug. "Sexuality is a part of life and it's something that readers are interested in as far as characters... Love scenes are unparalleled opportunities to characterize a major character and bring out aspects of them that you can't in normal everyday scenes."[8]

Forrest had a ten-year tenure as fiction editor at Naiad Press. She founded and currently serves as Supervising Editor at Spinsters Ink, as well as serving as the editor at large at Bella Books.[9] She has also written science fiction novels and edited numerous anthologies of gay and lesbian interest. As an editor, she worked with hundreds of writers, including Jane Rule and Lee Lynch, who wrote of Forrest's fiction, "Her stories embrace and strengthen us, and give us permission to live our lives fully just as we are."[10]

Also known for her reviews and articles about lesbian and gay publishing, Forrest authored book reviews appearing in the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle. Articles have appeared in Brother and Sister, The Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review and The Lambda Book Report.

Awards and honors

Forrest was a recipient of the Lambda Literary Foundation's Pioneer Award in 1999[11] and currently serves on their board of trustees.[9] She received the Alice B Readers Award in 2005[12] and in 2008, received the Golden Crown Literary Society's Trailblazer Award,[1][13] as well as the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from Publishing Triangle.[14]

Awards and honors for Forrest's writing
Year Title Award/Honor Result Ref.
1990 The Beverly Malibu Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Mystery Winner [15]
1992 Murder by Tradition Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Mystery Winner [16]
1993 Erotic Naiad Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Anthology Finalist [17]
1997 Liberty Square Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Mystery Finalist [18]
1998 Apparition Alley Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Mystery Finalist [19]
2000 Sleeping Bones Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Mystery Finalist [20]
2003 Daughters of an Amber Noon Lambda Literary Award for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Finalist [21]
2005 Hancock Park Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Mystery Winner [22]
2006 Daughters of an Emerald Dusk Lambda Literary Award for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Winner [23]
2006 Women of Mystery Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Mystery Finalist [23]
2006 Lesbian Pulp Fiction Lambda Literary Award for Anthology Finalist [23]
2008 Love, Castro Street Goldie Award for Anthology (Non-Erotica) Winner [13]
2014 High Desert Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Mystery Winner [24]
2018 Lethal Care Goldie Award for Mystery / Thriller Winner [25]


Coral Dawn trilogy

  • Daughters Of A Coral Dawn. 1984, ISBN 0-930044-50-9
  • Daughters Of An Amber Noon. 2002, ISBN 1-55583-663-1
  • Daughters Of An Emerald Dusk. 2005, ISBN 1-55583-823-5

Kate Delafield Mysteries

Other novels

Short story collections

  • Dreams And Swords. 1987, ISBN 0-941483-03-7
  • The Gift
  • Jessie: A Kate Delafield Story
  • Benny's Place
  • Xessex
  • Force Majeur
  • Mother Was an Alien (excerpt from Daughters of a Coral Dawn)
  • Mandy Larkin
  • Survivor
  • O Captain, My Captain. 2013.
  • The Test

Anthology contributions

Anthologies edited

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Katherine V. Forrest". Golden Crown Literary Society. Retrieved 2022-02-25.
  2. ^ a b c Forrest, Katherine V., Interviewed by Malinda Lo, "Interview with Katherine V. Forrest," Archived 2012-11-27 at the Wayback Machine August 2004.
  3. ^ a b First, Debra, Boston Phoenix, "Sister in Crime," November 1999 Archived 2011-04-21 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Hunter, Tim, interviewed by Gregg Rickman. Film Quarterly, Vol. 47, No. 1 (Autumn 1993); University of California Press, via
  5. ^ a b c Victoria Brownworth, The Advocate; May 17, 1994, p50-52
  6. ^ Lehman, J. Lee, Advocate; 9/29/83, Issue 377, p57-58, 2p
  7. ^ Forrest, Katherine V., Lodestar Quarterly, "The Politics of Pride"; Issue 2, Summer 2002.
  8. ^ Asche, Jennifer, San Francisco Chronicle; October 10, 1997. "She Got the Beat on Lesbian Cops"[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ a b "Katherine V. Forrest". Lambda Literary. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  10. ^ Lynch, Lee, The Amazon Trail, September 1, 2008.
  11. ^ Gonzalez Cerna, Antonio (1999-07-15). "11th Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  12. ^ "Past Alice B Medal Winners". The Alice B Awards. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  13. ^ a b "2008 Award Winners". Golden Crown Literary Society. Retrieved 2022-02-25.
  14. ^ "The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement". The Publishing Triangle. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  15. ^ "2nd Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. 1990-07-13. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  16. ^ "4th Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. 1992-07-14. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  17. ^ "5th Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. 1993-07-14. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  18. ^ Gonzalez Cerna, Antonio (1997-07-15). "9th Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  19. ^ Gonzalez Cerna, Antonio (1998-07-15). "10th Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  20. ^ Gonzalez Cerna, Antonio (2000-07-15). "12th Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  21. ^ Gonzalez Cerna, Antonio (2003-07-10). "15th Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  22. ^ Gonzalez Cerna, Antonio (2005-07-09). "17th Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  23. ^ a b c Gonzalez Cerna, Antonio (2005-04-09). "18th Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. Archived from the original on 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2022-02-25.
  24. ^ "Winners of the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards Announced". Lambda Literary. 2014-06-03. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  25. ^ "Mystery/Thriller Winners". Golden Crown Literary Society. Retrieved 2022-02-25.

Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 21 April 2022, at 09:42
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