Friday, September 7, 2012

Old Wives Tale Bookstore

Interior  of Old Wives Tale Bookstore (1980s)
Old Wives Tale Bookstore

Location: 532 Valencia Street, San Francisco, California, USA--later at 1009 Valencia Street

Opened: 1976

Closed: 1995

From "Carol Seajay, Old Wives Tales and the Feminist Bookstore Network" by Elizabeth Sullivan:

"I came to San Francisco with a ray of hope about living life as a lesbian woman."

Starting from the early 1970s, Carol Seajay knows intimately the history of women's bookstores in San Francisco. In addition to her work with Full Moon in San Francisco and A Woman's Place in Oakland, she is a co-founder of Old Wives Tales, the women's bookstore on Valencia Street that closed in 1995. She is also a founder of the Feminist Bookstore Network and Newsletter, which is going stronger than ever in 1997.

Carol Seajay arrived in San Francisco from school in Michigan in December of 1973. The first connection she made with the women's and lesbian culture that she was seeking here was through a flyer in a women's bathroom in the Main Library. It advertised a Women's Coffeehouse and Bookstore, at a place called the Full Moon. The early seventies saw a concerted effort on the part of feminists to cultivate an alternative culture--a world based on feminist values and the celebration of the power of women. Posting announcements in women's bathrooms was a favorite technique, the perfect expression of solidarity between women.

Read the rest here.

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