Tag Archives: Joan Ellis

Pulp Friday: The Third Street

The third street“The street where no questions were asked. The Street where few men were ever seen.”

Today’s Pulp Friday offering is a piece of vintage lesbian pulp fiction, Joan Ellis’s The Third Street. The version above is a 1974 reprint by Horwitz offshoot Scripts Publications of the Midwood Books edition published in 1964.

The author, Joan Ellis, wrote a large number of campus and lesbian sex pulp books in the sixties and has featured on this site previously.

Lesbian pulp fiction was actually a huge sub-genre of pulp in the late fifties and sixties. While some of it was written by women, many of the books were authored by men ghosting as women and were purely exploitative in nature.

Common plot themes included suburban housewives as illicit lesbian lovers, lesbians in prison and tortured lesbian lovers trying to hide their love in red neck small town American. Lesbian pulp fiction was also often closely associated black magic, witch craft and bondage. Similar strands of books existed featuring gay male men.

Interestingly, despite the sleazy nature of these books, a number of cultural commentators have commented on their subversive nature and the role they played to some women struggling to come out in the fifties and sixties.

Their very existence in fifties small town America was often a validation that alternative sexualities existed.… Read more

Pulp Friday: Open House

“To protect her young daughter she would have to expose the truth of her own affair with their virile young boarder.”

Sounds complicated.

This Friday’s pulp offering is Open House by Joan Ellis. It was published by Star Books, Crow’s Nest Sydney, and printed by Griffin Press in South Australia. There’s no publication date.

To the best of my knowledge, Star Books was a local outfit that did Australian mass market print runs of overseas pulp authors. It was active in the late sixties and early seventies. One day I’m actually going to have to spend a bit of time and track down the details of some of these local pulp publishing houses, as I’d love to know more about them.

Through the wonder of the Internet I discovered Ellis certainly was a prolific author, mainly erotic pulps and campus exploitation tales very popular in the US in the early sixties. So prolific, in fact, I suspect it was name used by several authors to ghost under.

I’m not sure whether Joan did her own titling. If so, she certainly had an talent for creative sleaze. Some of the titles I was able to track down, included Campus Pet (“With her one-track mind and breath taking body, she was bound to be a hit on campus”), Campus Jungle (She wondered if he’d still want her once he found out about the things she’d done at a not-so-private campus party”), High School Hellions, Faculty Wife and Cool Co-Eds (“They came in search of knowledge, the kind not found in text books…”), and Third Street (The place where questions were asked, the street where few men were ever seen”).… Read more