Feminist Press Resurrects Women's Pulp Fiction

Publisher Saves Hard-Boiled Books from Oblivion

Detail from cover of 'In a Lonely Place'

Detail from the 1949 Pocket Book edition In a Lonely Place, with a cover illustration by Frank McCarthy. Feminist Press hide caption

itoggle caption Feminist Press

The pages of books in the pulp fiction genre — cheap paperbacks with colorful covers, overflowing with even more colorful prose — were usually filled with hard-boiled men, dangerous dames and a surprise around ever dog-eared corner.

Authors Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain and Dashiell Hammett grew famous writing pulp fiction novels, which had their heyday in the 1930s, '40s and '50s.

But the genre also included successful women writers, including Faith Baldwin and Valerie Taylor.

The Feminist Press is reprinting several long-forgotten pulp novels written by women. NPR's Steve Inskeep talks with Jean Casella, publisher of the Feminist Press at the City University of New York.

Casella says these books are not just page-turners, but uncensored looks at what everyday life was like for women entering the working world.

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