July 2022 news from LILAC
Kia ora

Welcome to the July LILAC newsletter with news of our fundraiser at Circa - a play by Renee, book reviews from Collective members, the Winter Art Exhibition, a great raffle, Book Group news, and new titles in the library this month. Come in and visit LILAC soon - Wellington's premier lesbian space, and cosy at this time of year.

LILAC fundraiser at Circa: Wednesdays to Come

Sunday 31 July 4pm

Join LILAC and friends for a special fundraiser.

As the 1930s Depression threatens to tear New Zealand’s working class apart, four generations of a single family must confront a personal crisis when the husband and father dies in a relief camp.

Erina Daniels directs a poignant new version of a national theatre classic. Renee's play Wednesday to Come was described as 'a major triumph' by The Dominion when it premiered in 1984 and has been studied by students across the country ever since. Jane Waddell, who originated the role of Iris and played Mary in 2005, will visit the play again – this time, as Granna. For the first time in its production history, Wednesday to Come is retold through the lens of a M?ori P?keh? wh?nau.

Underlined with a rich vein of earthy humour, Wednesday to Come is a powerful statement and passionate celebration of the contribution women have made to the evolution of Aotearoa.

Disclaimer: This play contains content about suicide.

Book now - buy your tickets:

  • Please deposit/transfer your ticket payment of $45 per ticket into the LILAC bank account: Westpac 030502 0030496 00 using your name and "Circa" as the reference.
  • Then email librarian@lesbian.net.nz to receive confirmation of your booking.

Do it soon as LILAC have only 30 tickets to sell, and Circa need to know how many tickets have sold a week before the performance.

Tickets can be collected in the theatre lobby from 3.30pm on the day.

Winter Art Exhibition in the LILAC Lounge

The Lilac Winter Art Exhibition opening was enjoyed by the fifteen or so women who attended, with conversation, drinks, snacks and a great variety of artwork to look at. Thanks to the Artists and attendees for making it such a lovely evening.

The Exhibition will run in the LILAC Lounge until just after Quiz Night, Friday 26th August, so there’s still time to check it out & put bids in for two wonderful paintings donated by Ros Bignell, that are being sold by silent (& anonymous) auction, or purchase one of the other pieces. Drop in soon!

Book reviews by Collective members

Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America, by Rachel Hope Cleves

by Robynne

Two centuries ago, two women who grew up in the time immediately following the American Revolution, chose to marry each other rather than any man. For more than forty years they shared a purse, common relations, and a bed, where when the spirit moved them, they shared their bodies as well. When they died, they were buried under the same gravestone. And there you can find them still.
 Drawing on truly incredible work of research over ten years, Rachel Hope Cleeves draws you into the story of two bold and daring women, who live an open secret for their lives together. They are real people, brought to life through letters, records and a beautiful collection of poems written by themselves and saved or sent to friends. 
While telling their story in a way that reads like a novel, the book examines how their ‘marriage’ was an open secret in the small rural community they lived in. A fascinating read and highly recommended.


Footnotes to Sex by Mia Farlane

by Amanda

Readers of fiction will probably agree that there is something to be gained from almost every book, and Footnotes to Sex, while not in the can’t-put-it-down category, is no exception. This is an easy, straight-forward read. It has lots of character dialogue, and relatable issues for dwelling on.
The main character, May, is suffering from an infuriating case of imposter syndrome in her own life. She is an overthinking worry wart, who struggles to stay present in, or enjoy, any given moment. In this sense, frustratingly, I found her highly relatable. A people pleaser (raised female), she comes off as beige, indirect, and full of anxieties about voicing her opinions and needs. Sometimes, books show you traits about yourself you don’t like, but also the progress you’ve made to unlearn them. Books can be like mirrors.
Sex might be in the title, but there’s none in the book. How do women maintain connection in long-term relationships in other ways? The star of the book is May’s dependable, forgiving, patience-of-a-saint partner, Jansen. We are reminded that, in a world of distractions, mundane routines and the daily grind, where you direct your attention matters.


Stir Fry, by Emma Donoghue

by Sal

The night that the LILAC book group featured the writer Emma Donoghue, there was a wonderful feeling about her books and the discussion around her writing was positive leaving the feeling that we’d all like to read more of her work.
The book I choose on that evening was “Stir-Fry”. Published in 1994, it is definitely a book of its time.
It is set in Dublin and centres around three main characters - Ruth and Jael [Yale] a lesbian couple who are mature students and Maria [Mariah] who is a 17 year old student from the Irish countryside. Ruth and Jael are looking for a flatmate and Maria is looking for a flat and so they meet. The story is basically the interaction between the three women. Ruth the ardent feminist, Jael the erotic, laid-back promiscuous lesbian and Maria the young girl who walked into sharing a flat and stumbled on her own sexuality.
Like many of Donoghue’s books it is well written with characterisations wonderfully developed through descriptions and turn of phrase. She explores sensitively common themes of feminism, lesbian stereotypes and the pulls of catholicism.
A good book and well worth the read not to mention the discussion at the book group. LILAC book group meets on the second Wednesday of every month from 6.15pm.


Daughters of a Coral Dawn, by Katherine V. Forrest

by Helen

If you are dreaming of a world without men, then look no further than this book.
The intrepid women acquire a spaceship, and quietly assemble some of the best female minds around, as they plan their escape from Earth.
Across the universes they travel to an unpopulated planet which becomes the home of the earth refugees.


Alice Payne arrives, by Kate Heartfield

by Ellen

This is a delightfully laid back sci-fi fantasy time-travel novel that doesn't take the genre too seriously. Mostly set in 1788, with central character Grace doing a bit of highway robbery in the neighbourhood to pay off her elderly father's debts and fix the roof of the family pile. Her "companion" Jane is a scientist/engineer on the side. Plus Prudence who arrived from the future ... maybe, a bumbling time traveller trying to nudge the course of history. I don't usually like the genre but this novel and it's sequel Alice Payne rides are great fun.

Monster yummy hamper raffle

LILAC is running a raffle with a yummy hamper as prize. Tickets are $5 each or three for $10 - cash or online banking on the spot with your cellphone app.

Tickets are available at LILAC and also at some local lesbian gatherings (Overlanders, Coasters). Drop in at the LILAC Lounge soon for your tickets as well as some great reading.

The raffle will be drawn at the LILAC quiz night in August.

It's cosy at the LILAC Lounge. Come along for July Book Group or just pop in to get some reading or movies. Tea, coffee and bikkies available.

Book Group Wednesday 13th July 6.15 - 7.30pm

This month Book Group is featuring fiction by Jane Rule. LILAC has copies of all of her novels and short story collections ... and they are whizzing out the door so be in quick !

New books on the shelves

arriving July 13th for Book Group!

a twisty thriller
more on goodreads
lesbian family dynamics
more on goodreads
Kiwi zine
publisher's website
LILAC gratefully acknowledges the invaluable financial support we receive from the Armstrong and Arthur Charitable Trust for Lesbians.

The A&A Trust  commemorates the support of Bette Armstrong and Bea Arthur for the lesbian community in Wellington. It is a registered charity that welcomes bequests and donations to enable it to assist lesbian communities in the Wellington region.

Need to renew? email lilac-subs@lesbian.net.nz
  • Online banking payments should be made to LILAC 030502 0030496 00 Please email lilac-subs@lesbian.net.nz to confirm your details and alert us to your payment
  • Cash payments may be made at LILAC, Level 2, 187 Willis Street during our opening hours. Please bring correct amount of cash