Lavender Marriages in Classic Hollywood: Background information when reading Siren Queen

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Siren Queen

by Nghi Vo

Siren Queen by Nghi Vo X
Siren Queen by Nghi Vo
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  • Published:
    May 2022, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Elisabeth Cook
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About this Book

Lavender Marriages in Classic Hollywood

This article relates to Siren Queen

Publicity still of Rock HudsonNghi Vo's Siren Queen follows protagonist Luli Wei through an alternate version of historical Hollywood. While many aspects of the novel's world are fictitious to the tune of spells and supernatural beings, it also explores real-life social and political issues of the time and place, including the phenomenon of "lavender" marriages. A lavender marriage is one meant to create the appearance of heterosexuality while concealing the real sexual orientation of one or both partners. The phenomenon is often associated with gay and bisexual actors during Hollywood's classic era (1910s-60s), who were under significant pressure from studios to project a heterosexual image. Marriages for this purpose were even sometimes arranged by Hollywood studios.

In Siren Queen, Luli enters into a secret relationship with another actress, Emmaline Sauvignon. Emmaline, in the meantime, is involved in a public romance with a male actor known as Cassidy Dutch, for the sake of her career. Luli considers ...

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