Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Depression in Lesbian Fiction

Depression is one of those silent, awful mental illnesses that you may not even realise you have, until it's too late. Women suffer disproportionately from depression, and lesbian/bisexual (or otherwise GSM) women are even more likely to be depressed, due to the many stigmas and difficulties gay people still face.

This is a booklist of fiction featuring main lesbian characters that suffer from depression. Some shrug it off, some are nearly crippled by it, but all of these books deal with depression in some significant way.

This is not a comprehensive list, but I only know of many of these books because I actually read them; the descriptions do not always mention depression. Further suggestions are welcome!

There's a much longer post about mental illnesses, but the depression section got a bit long, so it's being posted separately.

A Village Affair by Joanna Trollope
A young mother trapped in an empty, depressive state, moves to a rural English village in the 1980s. On the verge of a breakdown, she is rescued and seduced by a local girl, leading to new life, scandal and upheaval.

About A Girl by Joanne Horniman

Set in Australia, this is a slightly disjointed YA novel, divided into episodes. One episode follows the main character's moderate depression, a trait that remains throughout the rest of the book.

Blue of Her Body: A Novel by Sara Greenslit
A depressed young woman abandons her lover and flees to take a job training raptors and recover herself. 

Dare, Truth or Promise by Paula Boock

A YA novel of two girls falling in love, coming out and dealing with their families. It doesn't end easily, but it ends with hope. There's a stretch in the middle where one girl ends up quite depressed, after her conservative family throws her out of home.

Gossamer Axe by Gael Baudino

Also mentioned under the Addiction list further up, depression is just one of the several problems that the characters face in this powerful story of magic and music. The depressed character is Kevin, who left hs awful family years ago, and is feeling alone and at a dead end, when the main character pulls him into her life.

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The Leaving: A Novel by Gabriella West

Set in 1980s Ireland, this is the story of a 15 year old girl, dealing with depression, high school, a dysfunctional family a gay older brother, and her own emerging sexuality.An absorbing story of adolescence, it follows Cathy over two years, as she grows up and deals with love, friendship and herself.

Pennance by Clare Ashton

A story of recovery, the main character suffers from severe depression at the beginning of the story, complete with unattractively awful living conditions. The book follows her gradual healing, as she befriends and slowly falls in love with a newcomer to her quiet Cornwall village.

Rebecca by Adam J Nicolai
An emotional tale of postpartum depression in a young woman trapped by an extremely religious family, and trying to deal with an unwanted pregnancy after she tried to 'prove' she wasn't lesbian.

Skim by Jillian and Tamaki
A YA graphic novel that deals with high school, coming out, student-teacher crushes, suicide and bullying, as well as depression. I didn't enjoy it much, but other people did, and it deals well with important topics.

The Undying Apathy Of Imogen Shroud by Ben White
17 yeard old Imogen is depressed and unhappy after her girlfriend abandoned her, and can barely get moving. And when the zombie apocalypse arrives, she has to protect her little brother, fight off the rampaging undead and get them both to safety.

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1 comment:

  1. Depression is a vile and evil ailment and quite a serious topic. One of the main characters in Broken Song suffers from depression.