Jane Rule, 'Desert of the Heart' Novelist The Canadian author, whose groundbreaking novels were among the first serious literary treatments of lesbian relationships, died Nov. 27 at the age of 76. She had been battling liver cancer.
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Jane Rule, 'Desert of the Heart' Novelist

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Jane Rule, 'Desert of the Heart' Novelist

Jane Rule, 'Desert of the Heart' Novelist

Jane Rule, 'Desert of the Heart' Novelist

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/17129101/17129123" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Canadian author Jane Rule, best known for her novel Desert of the Heart, died Nov. 27 at the age of 76. She'd been battling liver cancer.

Rule, whose other work included Memory Board, was one of the best-known and most widely read lesbian writers. Desert of the Heart was published in 1964 — five years before the lesbian and gay civil-rights movement burst into the public consciousness after New York's Stonewall riots. Set in 1950s Nevada, it was adapted for the big screen in 1985 as Desert Hearts.

(This interview first aired on Jan. 29, 1988.)