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New Publication

The author’s interpretation

PERFECTLY NATURAL is the story of one person's life located in a social and historical context.  It is a about seeking legitimation and a desire for security and love. It is sometimes audacious and other times poignant. But overall it is about making visible the life of a woman who had to commit crimes, act fraudulently, behave secretly, and lie, in order to live an authentic life and express her gender as male - this was the personna she was most comfortable with. This is an irony and also a tragedy but most of all it is heroic.

Perfectly Natural

ISBN-13-9880770074082

Iris Florence Peter Williams — bootmaker, labourer, commercial traveler,

apartment house manager, supervisor, daughter, woman, Mr X, transgender,

lesbian, curiosity, man, sister, husband, dad, special friend; despised,

rejected, hounded, adored, much loved. 

 

Born female, she was prosecuted in 1945 for marrying another woman, vilified for having

her breasts removed for other than medical reasons, harried by the law, Iris/Peter married at least four times, lived as a man for sixty years, endedhis life happily with his wife, amongst friends, well-respected and admired. Peter was one of many across time, culture, location, and social class, who have defied social norms, and because of persecution by the dominant culture were forced to resort to creating aliases, secrecy, subterfuge, and to committing crimes so that they could live as they desired.

Spanning 20th-century New Zealand, this is an account of determination, enforced criminality, masquerade and power. It is the story of a perfectly natural life.

 

Out Front

ISBN-56-6784659396375

This book captures a kaleidoscope of lesbian resistance and activities from 1962 to 1993 in Aotearoa New Zealand. It draws on non-mainstream publications; interviews , and the more public media and photos relating to social and political action for human rights equality and homosexual law reform that became more public in the 1980s and early 1990's. 

Parker & Hulme

ISBN-68-3459876038524

Juliet Hume and Pauline Parker were teenagers in Christchurch, New Zealand, aged 15 and 16 years when in June 1954 they killed Pauline's mother. The murder resulted in a sensational court case, extensive local and media coverage, and a public association of lesbianism with "evil", "insanity", and extreme violence.  The authors have taken a lesbian view of the historic story and focussed on the circumstances and signficance of the case that goes beyond the "mad" or the "bad" pathologies. The book looks at the social context of the mid-1950s New Zealand and the surrounding issues of sexuality and social control. 

 

The book has also been published in the USA. Contemporary film and culture critic B. Ruby Rich has commented that 'Parker and Hulme' represents the deconstruction of popular cultural misinterpresentations and lesbianism.

 

 

 

 

Link to podcast 2011.

Julie talks about researching queer-related subjects, particularly for the books Parker and Hulme: a lesbian view and Out Front.

 

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