Applesauce, by June Arnold (Daughters, 22 Charles St., New York, N.Y. 10014, paperback, $5). Three faces of Eve - and a male alter ego - in this charming, jumbled, complex novel exploring the attempts of women to fulfill themselves as seductress, intellectual and earth mother, and to find a place for the masculine in them as well. Republished, after its first appearance in the mid-'60s.
Sita, by Kate Millett (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $10). The decline of an affair between an exotic Latin woman and a sculptor-turned-writer. An autobiographical novel with some moving passages, but an aura of masochism and the writer's peculiar distance from her material tend to make it tiresome.
A Woman Appeared to Me, by Renee Vivien, translated from the French by Jeannette H. Foster (Naiad Press. 20 Rue Jacob Acres, Bate City, Mo. 64011, paperback, $4.50). The Muse of the Violets: Poems by Renee Vivien, translated by Margaret Porter and Catharine Kroger (Naiad paperback, $4). The first, published in 1976, is a double treat - a lively essay on the fin de siecle lesbian writer poet and her circle, including the notorious Natalie Barney, whose Paris salon might have rivalled Gertrude Stein's and who later entered a 50-year liaison with artist Romaine Brooks; and a new translation of Vivien's smouldering, sensuous amount of her love affair with Barney. The second volume presents Vivien's poetry: the translations are somewhat stiff and stilted, and it would have been useful to see the poems in the original French along with the translations, but it offers a glimpse into the soul of his woman entranced in her love of women.
Angel Dance, by M.F. Bell (Daughters paperback, $5). A mystery thriller whose tough Chicana lesbian detective protagonist brings those old Raymond Chandler sleuths to mind. The novel may fall back too much on paranoia but this romantic, political suspense story is coloful and involving, and it keeps you reading.
Love Image, by Valerie Taylor (Naiad paperback, $4.50). An exploited ingenue movie star finds love and blissful anonymity with another woman. A pulp novel with all the shortcomings - and the appeal - of the genre.
Rubyfruit Jungle, by Rita Mae Brown (Bantam paperback, $1.95). The feisty, funny, semi-autobiographical novel about a young woman growing up lesbian in America's rural South has been reprinted in a mass market edition five years after its initial success as an underground publication. ANTHOLOGIES
The Lesbians Home Journal, edited by Barbara Grier and Coletta Reid (Diana Press, 12 W. 25th Street, Baltimore, Md. 21218. paperback, $5.75). A collection of the best stories published during 16 years in the lesbian/feminist publication The Lader. With early pieces by such well-known writers as Isabel Miller (author of Patience and Sarah ); some stories are native, others show their age, but most are well-constructed, sensitive and a pleasure to read.
Conditions One and Two, edited by Elly Bulkin, Jan Clausen, et al. (Conditions, P.O. Box 56, Van Bount Station, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215, paperback, $6.50 for three volumes annually). The first two volumes of a new fiction/nonfiction magazine out of New York, featuring short stories, an interview with writer Adrienne Rich, poetry (very mixed), and book reviews which, even when they don't satisfy, bring together information an old and new lesbian publications not easily located elsewhere. NONFICTION
The New Lesbians: Interviews with Women Across the U.S. and Canada, by Laurel Galana and Gina Covina (Moon Books/Random House paperback, $4.95). A get-acquainted book in which lesbian women tell their own stories in interviews with more emphasis on personal detail than on polemic, Clumsy and over-simplified at times.
We're Here: Conversations with Lesbian Women, by Anglea Stewart-Park and Jules Cassidy (Quartet/Horizon paperback, $3.95). Another get-acquainted book, on English lesbian women. More articulate and engaging, with a livelier presentation and more discussion of issues than in the American book.
Women Who Love Women, by Tracy Young (Pocket Books paperback, $1.95). A so-so look at the first gay experiences, and what followed - role-playing, fidelity and promiscuity, guilt, relationships with men, and so on - for another series of lesbian women. The cover smacks of women's sexual revelations, but the book is less risque than that.
Motherhood, Lesbianism and Child Custody, by Francy Wyland (Wages Due Lesbians, P.O. Box 38, Station E, Toronto, Canada paperback, $1.20). A Canadian pamphlet on the child custody-lesbian issue. More polemical than actually useful to a mother trying to deal with the threat, but one of the few such publications out.
From the Closet to the Courts: The Lesbian Transition, by Ruth Simpson (Penguin paperback, $2.25). By a former president of Daughters of Bilitis, New York, this effective book discusses the persecution of homosexual women by physicians, the church police, mass media and government. A real eye-opener - how many are aware, for instance, that licensing for work in jobs from pilot to podiatrist, veterinarian to television repairperson was illegal for homosexuals in 42 states as of 1971?
By Her Own Admission: A Lesbian Mother's Fight to Keep Her Son, by Gifford Guy Gibson with Mary Jo Risher (Doubleday, $8.95). An agonizing, true story of a woman's loss in 1974 of her son in the Texas courts because she was declared, on the basis of her lesbianism, to be an unfit mother. If earlier appeals don't win, Risher plans to take her case to the Supreme Court. Overdetailed at times, but nightmarish in its impact and implications.
The Joy of Lesbian Sex, by Dr. Emily L. Sisley and Bertha Harris (Crown, $12.95). An informative, sensitively written manual, with some lovely illustrations, which deals with lesbian sexuality and offers advice on emotional, medical, social and legal problems. Its dictionary format tends to get in the way, and some of the material is reiterated under too many headings, but the index helps and the advice seems sound.
Womenfriends: A Soap Opera, by Esther Newton and Shirely Walton (Friends Press, 520 W. 110th St., New York, N.Y. paperback, $4.50). A dialogue in journal form which explores the relationship of a gay and a straight pregnant woman from 1971-1972. The joint diary is interesting and even fun to read, but the dialogue degenerates into monologues before the journal ends. POETRY
Edward the Dyke and other poems, by Judy Grahn (Women's Press Collective, 5251 Broadway, Oakland, Calif. 94618 paperback, $1.25). A beguiling and powerful book of poetry, including among other works a series of seven pieces, "The Common Woman," which is striking and eloquent.