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'Women under the radar'

25 May 2009

'Writers like Jeanette Winterson have resisted the lesbian label, but it's never felt like a problem to me. I'm very lucky. I have a lesbian audience but a mainstream one as well...

I use a period landscape we all know well, and put lesbians in it. I think it makes for quite an interesting experience - for straight and lesbian readers alike - to go back into the past, and think, "oh yeah, it's not actually all heterosexual".'

Gays have such an obvious historical record - think about Oscar Wilde. I think this is because male homosexuality was illegal; men were arrested for it, executed for it. Whereas women were under the radar a little. In a way, it was always easier for the mainstream to ignore them.'

Sarah Waters, author of The Little Stranger, in the Sunday Times