Narrated by LGBTQ+ historian Lillian Faderman and illuminated through interviews with trailblazers like Jewelle Gomez (The Gilda Stories), Dorothy Allison (Bastard Out of Carolina), and Sarah Waters (Tipping the Velvet), In Her Words: 20th Century Lesbian Fiction charts a literary journey from post-war lesbian pulp to modern bestsellers. Highlighting the successful and controversial, directors Lisa Marie Evans and Marianne K. Martin skillfully delve into stories that defined eras of lesbian writers, and the changing socio-political landscapes that encouraged an evolution of the genre. In Her Words: 20th Century Lesbian Fiction pays loving tribute to this evolution of lesbian and queer fiction, told through a lens of broader American history.
Starting in 1928, readers fell into The Well of Loneliness — a groundbreaking lesbian novel, albeit a tragic one. By the late 1990s, lesbian fiction had climbed out of the well and into a diverse world of stories and storytellers who were publishing increasingly multifaceted stories (some of them even happy ones). This film will inspire lit lovers of any age to return to old favorites, while igniting curiosity for a new literary tryst or two.
Lisa Marie Evans co-directed, edited and animated In Her Words: 20th Century Lesbian Fiction. Since April of 2022, the film has reached audiences across Italy, Perú, Ireland, Spain, Mexico, Australia, Poland, England, and the United States. In Her Words is the first film to win the Publishing Triangle’s Michele Karlsberg Leadership Award. Evans is a 2021 recipient of the Arkansas Arts Council’s Fellowship Award in Cinematic Arts and was keynote speaker at VIII Gendercom: the International Conference on Gender & Communication in Viterbo, Italy.
Over the past 20 years, Evans has mentored hundreds of multidisciplinary artists. Currently, she is the Director of Creative Development for CACHE where she designs and leads professional development programming, project support and grantmaking for artists. Since 2020, Evans has overseen the distribution of $750K+ dollars to over 175 creatives. Evans is a co-founder and co-curator of “Collision: When Visions Combine,” an annual performance event at the Momentary.
Marianne K. Martin is the award-winning author of twelve novels of lesbian fiction, including five Lambda Literary Award finalists. Among the accolades she has received are Independent Publisher (IPPY) Awards, Global Ebook Awards, eLit Award, International Book Award, USA Book News Best Book of the Year Award, Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) Goldie Award, the 2012 GCLS Trailblazer Award, and the Alice B. Foundation Award for outstanding body of work. In 2013, she was inducted into the Saints & Sinners Literary Hall of Fame, and in the same year she was selected as one of GO Magazine’s 100 Women We Love.
Marianne is a founding partner and co-owner of Bywater Books and Amble Press. She is a member of the GCLS Sandra Moran Writing Academy Scholarship Committee. Alongside co-creator Sandra Moran, Marianne developed the framework and vision for In Her Words: 20th Century Lesbian Fiction. Marianne is a first-time filmmaker and co-director for In Her Words.