Marijane Meaker isn’t a household name, but she should be. A literary pioneer many times over, she wrote the 1952 novel Spring Fire, one of the first lesbian “pulps,” giving thousands of Americans their first glimpse of a sexually compatible same-sex couple, even if the rules of the genre required that the relationship end badly.
Her books about lesbian life in New York City, which appeared between 1955 and 1972, were indispensable guides to a hidden world. And beginning in the 1970s, she was one of the first authors to write for young adults, often telling stories of underdogs and “others,” including gay and lesbian teenagers. Over a career spanning 65 years, more than 60 books, and millions of copies sold, she has consistently, if not exclusively, published groundbreaking work on queer topics.
Best of all, at 88, she is still going strong and is currently at work on her autobiography.