Women could now choose to divorce their husbands in order to lead openly lesbian or bisexual lives; increasingly, however, these women were confronted by hostile state discrimination, typically in legal battles over child custody. Well into the s, many women remained ambivalent about divorce and resistant to labeling themselves as lesbian, therefore complicating a simple interpretation of their lives and relationship choices. To Barbara, Pearl was "the most gorgeous woman in the world," and the two began an affair that lasted over a decade. Lauren Jae Gutterman locates lesbian histories not at the margins but at the center of postwar American life, often accommodated within marriages with men and family life. Lauren Jae Gutterman shows the concept of fluidity has a much deeper past than what is typically imagined and that heterosexual marriage was much less straight than it seemed. Through interviews, diaries, memoirs, and letters, Her Neighbor's Wife traces the stories of hundreds of women, like Barbara Kalish, who struggled to balance marriage and same-sex desire in the postwar United States.
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