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Lesbian
Author Jane Rule Dies

Lesbian
Author Jane Rule Dies

Canadian novelist Jane Rule, author of Desert of the Heart, This Is Not for You, Against the Season, and The Young in One Another's Arms, died of complications of liver cancer in her Galiano Island home in British Columbia. She was 76.

Canadian novelist Jane Rule, author of Desert of the Heart, This Is Not for You, Against the Season, and The Young in One Another's Arms, died of complications of liver cancer in her Galiano Island home in British Columbia, according to The Toronto Star. She was 76. Rule's first novel, Desert of the Heart, was published in 1964 and made into the film Desert Hearts in 1986.

Rule was born in Plainfield, N.J., in 1931 and graduated in English literature from California's Mills College in 1952. While teaching English and biology at Concord Academy, a private girls' school in Massachusetts, she met Helen Sonthoff, a creative writing and literature teacher. After Rule immigrated to Vancouver, Canada, in 1956, Sonthoff joined her, and the two lived together until Sonthoff's death in 2000.

"She was the first Canadian woman writer to write about being gay as if it was part of the normal life," Toronto novelist Susan Swan told the Star from her Toronto home. "There was no self-consciousness about it. There didn't seem to be any need for her to wave a political flag. This female character as a lesbian -- you picked that up by reading the story. You weren't reading the story to find out what it was like to be a lesbian." (The Advocate)

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