Erica reviews Bobby Blanchard, Lesbian Gym Teacher by Monica Nolan

In Bobby Blanchard, Lesbian Gym Teacher, Monica Nolan playfully revives the genre of the 1950s lesbian pulp fiction novel. The protagonist is Bobby Blanchard, former field hockey star turned Games Mistress at a private all-girls school in rural Michigan. While her teaching skills are next to none, Bobby has no problem with instructing girls and young women alike in more salacious physical activities.

Indeed, upon her introduction to the rest of the faculty, it appears that at least every other faculty member (male or female) has similarly queer tendencies.  The question then becomes, who will be Bobby’s love interest? But before the reader can get too caught up in who might be doing whom and whose eyes are roaming over what bodies, there is a mystery to be solved. The Math Mistress suddenly and mysteriously died the summer before, and the more Bobby—and her rival, Enid, the new Math Mistress—uncovers, the more complicated the scene becomes.

Part murder mystery, part field hockey education, part bedpost notching, Bobby Blanchard, Lesbian Gym Teacher, is as ridiculous as it is entertaining. For any reader who is looking for all the juicy details of Bobby’s conquests, you best look elsewhere. What the novel does offer though is brief and enticing glances into the passionate trysts wherever—and I really do mean wherever—Bobby might find herself! Add in a bit of isolation, teenage lust, and love triangles, and you’ve got yourself a pulp fiction novel that keeps the action moving.

Perfect for a holiday read, a book for the beach, or curling up under the covers to pass the winter nights. With Bobby Blanchard, Lesbian Gym Teacher, Nolan offers a novel that fulfills all the gossip you ever hoped to hear about an all-girl’s school—and playfully reminds us that we really are everywhere.

Monica Nolan has also written Lois Lenz, Lesbian Secretary.

[Check out Erica’s other writing at her website.]

Guest Lesbrarian: Shanna

Another guest lesbrarian post! I love these. Please, please feel free to submit your own! Thank you, Shanna!

“‘And those awful rumors the students are spreading,’ Laura continued in a whisper. ‘Half the student body should be in the care of a psychiatrist, in my opinion.’”

So, at one point in my not-too-distant history, I was actually locked in a garage.  That is, someone locked me in the garage.  Yes, and it is all the fault of vintage lesbian pulp fiction.  I was out there, just hanging out and reading this giant encyclopedia of cheesy, bosom-heaving goodness, when my housemate thought it would be terribly funny to lock me out.

Whatever.  I promise that is related to this post. My point is, this stuff was bestselling back then because of it’s awesome, raunchy, over-the-top plots and forbidden love.  And you know what?  It’s still awesome, and I want to kiss Monica Nolan for bringing it back.

I’ll admit, I was sucked in by the amazingly campy cover of this book, perched enticingly on the new books display at Central Library.  This “First Shocking Printing” of Nolan’s third novel didn’t disappoint, either, and once again, I am rewarded for judging books by their covers.

The book is a campy mystery at an elite boarding school for girls.  Who killed the companion of the Metamora’s headmistress?  Did she jump from the tower in the middle of the night, or was she pushed?  Who is the glowing bicyclist that the students report seeing in the forest?  Are some of the girls actually able to communicate with the spirit world?  And how is it possible that girls from St. Mary’s were able to defeat the Metamora field hockey team?

The book is pure fun: full of sports puns, pulpy girl romance, and a funny cast of characters.  I am delighted to see the lesbian pulp fiction genre resurfacing with this light-hearted author, who doesn’t disappoint when she serves up this intrigue-laced romance against the perfect backdrop of the terribly cliched boarding school.  What’s not to like?

Happy Reading!

Nolan, Monica. Bobby Blanchard, Lesbian Gym Teacher. New York: Kensington Books, 2010.  290 pp.

Author’s website:

Thanks again, Shanna! You can check out her blog here.