On offer is a lurid and provocative paperback book cover painting by Paul Rader for The Path Between. Dating to 1961, this Midwood Books title was a defining example of the highly popular, lesbian pulp genre. The 1st edition played up the taboo subject with the slug line “The Bizarre World Of The Outcast Sex – Women Who Seek Their Pleasure With Other Women!” A 2nd printing in 1963 went further, advertising that “One kiss from Myrna and Ellie was hooked–she became an apprentice Lesbian.”
These subversive novels hold a unique place in 20th century pop culture–though marketed as the stuff of erotic fantasy for a male audience, they became the only place where a lesbian readership could see their lifestyle openly (if somewhat ham-fistedly) discussed. For many, buying these “dirty” paperbacks became a coming-out ritual. The cover art, which played up the titillating aspects of “deviant love,” has always been central to the popularity of the genre.
When examined out of the current matting and framing an adhesive line is evident on the top regions of the painting that is currently concealed from view as framed, this can be seen below.