Jane Rule Biography
(1931–2007), Desert of the Heart, This Is not for You, Against the Season
Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: M(acha)L(ouis) Rosenthal Biography to William Sansom [Norman Trevor Sansom] Biography
Canadian novelist, born in Plainfield, New Jersey, educated at Mills College (California), University College (London), and Stanford University. Her first and best-known novel, Desert of the Heart (1964), tells, in alternating narrative voices, the story of two women who break away from heterosexual constraints to find fulfilment in a lesbian relationship. This Is not for You (1970) is limited to a single perspective and treats its lesbian theme with less optimism. Other novels—which include Against the Season (1972), The Young in One Another's Arms (1977), Contract with the World (1980), Memory Board (1987), and After the Fire (1989)—adopt multiple points of view to examine various social and psychological issues and aspects of North American life. Short stories are collected in Theme for Diverse Instruments (1975) and Inland Passages (1985). Rule's fiction consistently explores the subjectivities of a wide range of women and men, both hetero-and homosexual, with compassion and insight. Her reflections on lesbian themes in fiction are collected in her popular and accessible critical work, Lesbian Images (1975).