We released Olivia on the Record: A Radical Experiment in Women's Music in the fall of last year to an outpouring of enthusiasm, kicking off with a wildly successful virtual book launch.
Since then we have run two limited editions of signed copies, the first of which sold out before the event even happened! The second one is still going on, so get your copy here before they run out!
Olivia on the Record covers the story of the radical lesbian-created and operated Olivia Records, from author Ginny Z Berson's perspective, exploring how the movement changed the world.
"In a time when lesbians’ participation in mainstream culture and politics is often taken for granted, we need to recognize the miraculousness of what Olivia achieved. A few years after Stonewall, Olivia not only created the first women’s record label, but in the face of pervasive bigotry and repression carved out a vibrant political space for lesbian freedom."
—Barbara Smith, co-founder of the Combahee River Collective
Recently, a local book club shared with us some of their experience with the text! Their comments follow below:
First of all, everybody loved the book, which is not something that happens very often - we are, after all, dykes with opinions. Here are some things people said, in no particular order:
"The book really captured what it was like then - to be a woman, to be a young lesbian feminist, in that world."
"[Made me think of] how hard/impossible it is to fully transform an organization that starts out all white into a multi-racial organization."
"It was shocking to realize that it all happened in such a short time frame. Really? The Furies was not in publication for a decade? - and Olivia was not producing records and concerts for several decades? So much got done, such disproportionate impact."
"In discussing the book, we found ourselves recounting vivid memories of what our lives were at that time, and how important it was for each of us personally to go to those concerts, those extraordinary big gatherings of lesbians."
"How important it is that you have created such a clear record of that time and that work and those women - and taken such care to make it accurate and fair, while at the same time representing your own point of view."
"Your honesty [stood out], even when it didn’t necessarily show you or The Furies or Olivia in the best light."
"[I remember] how easy it was then - and still is now - to argue (bitterly) about small points of difference with people who are so much like us, in the larger context of what we are all up against and what we are trying to accomplish."
"[Reminds me of] the challenges of living and working together - and sharing money, given our class and other differences."
"It was [so interesting] to read the backstory of a movement so important in all our lives
"It reminded each of us of work we had done, organizations we were part of, etc."
"It’s true Olivia Records did not completely bring down the patriarchy - but that it’s also true there is a direct line between the organizing Olivia did in the ’70’s and the international Women’s March on January 21, 2017."