This is a literary anthology with each piece set in an historical and literary context that seeks to redefine four centuries of lesbian writing. From the verse of Sappho in 600BC to Radclyffe Hall's "The Well of Loneliness" published in 1928, there is little women's writing that is recognised as "lesbian". A review of the shifting concept of "lesbian literature" is offered, followed by examples of six different genres - Romantic Friendship, Sexual Inversion, Exotic Inversion, Exotic and Evil Lesbians, Lesbian Encoding, Lesbian Feminism and Post-Lesbian Feminism. Works as diverse as Willa Cather's "My Antonia" and Virginia Woolf's "Orlando", poetry by Gertrude Stein and Amy Lowell, fiction by Carson McCullers, Helen Hulll and Alice Walker are examined here. In addition, writing by men who focused on women's relationship is included. This is Faderman's own personal search for a definition of lesbian literature.