Yvonne MacManus

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Yvonne MacManus
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BornYvonne Christine MacManus
(1931-03-18)March 18, 1931
Culver City, California
DiedMarch 26, 2002(2002-03-26) (aged 71)
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Pen namePaula Christian
  • Editor
  • novelist
  • publisher
Home townGlendale, California
  • Lesbian fiction
  • Science fiction
  • nonfiction
SpouseArthur H. Frankel (1950-unknown)
PartnerJo Anne Prather
RelativesDaniel MacManus (father)

Yvonne Christine MacManus (March 18, 1931 - March 26, 2002) was an American novelist specializing in Lesbian pulp fiction and science fiction. Although she used her real name when writing in other genres, MacManus published lesbian fiction under the pseudonym Paula Christian.[1]

Early life

MacManus was born in Culver City, California, to Daniel Salvador MacManus and Josephine Lydia Pina.[2] Both parents were Mexican immigrants who declared their intentions to become United States citizens in 1944. Three years later, in 1947, Daniel MacManus submitted his petition for naturalization. On the following day, Josephine Pina died.[3][4][5]

From 1935 until 1973, Daniel remained in California and worked as a The Walt Disney Company.[6]

MacManus grew up in Glendale, California and attended Herbert Hoover High School (Glendale). She participated in several extracurricular organizations including Forum Club and Spanish Club.[2][7]

In 1950, MacManus married Arthur H. Frankel at the age of nineteen. As late as 1954, she resided in Los Angeles.[8][9]

In 1955, she lived in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens. During this time, she worked as a crew member for Caribbean Airways flying out of what was then Idlewild Airport (now. John F. Kennedy International Airport).[10]

Literary career

MacManus worked as an editor for multiple paperback publishers including Dell Publishing, Major Books, Leisure Books, and Brandon.[1] Between 1959 and 1983, she wrote at least fourteen books ranging in genre from lesbian fiction to science fiction to nonfiction. Her first novel, Edge of Twilight, was semi-autobiographical.[11]

In the late 1970s, she founded Timely Books with Jo Anne Prather. Both women had previous editing experience for various books and magazines. Timely reissued books that MacManus had written under the name Paula Christian and marketed them to women's bookstores. In addition, the press published reprints of books by other female authors including Patte Wheat's By Sanction of the Victim.[1][12]

Reviewers took notice of the Paula Christian reprints in particular. In 1981, reviewer Catherine Kemmering wrote "There is a sameness to the writing which, while apparent after the first few chapters, does not detract from the storytelling."[13]

MacManus became known for her comical and unusual writing tips presented in her 1983 book, You Can Write A Romance...and Get It Published! A 1983 article about romance novels by Rhoda Koenig called the book "a dizzy collection of writing tips (assign astrological signs to your characters to keep their personalities focused; don't play Death and Transfiguration when you're working on a cheery scene)."[14]

Contemporary reviewers call her pulp fiction "quite modern despite their historical setting."[15] Her books have a "snappy, racy style and usually well-developed characters."[16]

In 1978, MacManus spoke at the annual Lesbian Writer's Conference.[1]

Lesbian Fiction as Paula Christian[17]

  • Edge of Twilight (1959)
  • Another Kind of Love (1961)
  • Love is Where You Find It (1961)
  • This Side of Love (1963)
  • Amanda (1965)
  • The Other Side of Desire (1965)
  • The Cruise (1982)

Other Works as Yvonne MacManus[18][19]

  • Love Is a Dirty Word (1965)
  • The Reunion (1965)
  • Better Luck Elsewhere (1967)
  • With Fate Conspire (1974)
  • Bequeath Them No Tumbled House (1977) - Later republished as Deadly Legacy (1981)[20]
  • The Presence (1982)
  • You Can Write a Romance...and Get It Published! (1983)

Personal life

MacManus expressed mixed feelings about the emerging fight for gay liberation in the early 1960s. In 1961, she submitted an short essay to The Ladder (magazine)|The Ladder in which she wrote, "I confess I am not a dedicated lesbian. That is, one who thinks this is the only way of life, that the rest of the world can go jump in the lake; nor one who wishes to make the world safe for the next generation of homosexuals. I would prefer it if psychiatry could learn enough about the subject to help those of us who do not believe homosexuality is the best of all possible worlds."[11]

Although preferring to maintain a private personal life, MacManus shared a public relationship with business partner Jo Anne Prather in the late 1970s.[11][1]

MacManus struggled to publicly assert her identity as a lesbian because of her pseudonym. In 1975, Marie J. Kuda|Marie Kuda falsely identified Paula Christian as the writer Helen Baker Eastwood in her book Women Loving Women: A Select and Annotated Bibliography of Women Loving Women in Literature. Eastwood denied these claims, and as a result, rumors circulated that Christian refused to be associated with lesbians.[1][12] The issue negatively affected sales for Timely Books.[12]

In 1980, publicist for Timely Books Celeste Charles confirmed that Christian was a lesbian and asserted that she never worked in pornography as other popular rumors suggested.[12]

Later, in 2016, Joanne Passet identified Christian as MacManus in her book Indomitable: The Life of Barbara Grier, a biography about publisher and activist Barbara Grier.[1][21]


In 1987, MacManus lived in New Haven, Connecticut.[22] In 2002, she died with her maiden name in Chattanooga, Tennessee.[23][24]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "MacManus, Yvonne (Paula Christian)". msvulpf.omeka.net. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  2. 2.0 2.1 “Yevonne Mac Manus” in the 1940 United States Federal Census (Census Place: Glendale, Los Angeles County, California; Roll: m-t0627-00230; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 19-853).
  3. “Josefina Lydia Mac Manus” in the California Federal Naturalization Records 1843-1999 (National Archives at Riverside; Riverside, CA; NAI Number: 618171; Record Group Title: 21; Record Group Number: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009).
  4. “Daniel Salvador MacMANUS” in the California Federal Naturalization Records, 1843-1999 (National Archives at Riverside; Riverside, CA; NAI Number: 594890; Record Group Title: 21; Record Group Number: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009).
  5. “Josephine Lydia Macmanus” in the California, Death Index, 1940-1997.
  6. "MacManus, Dan". D23. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  7. “Yvonne Christina MacMANUS” in U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012 (School Name: Herbert Hoover High School, Year: 1949).
  8. “Yvonne C MacManus” in the California Marriage Index, 1949-1959.
  9. “Mrs Yvonne C MacManus” in the California Voter Registrations, 1900-1968. Sacramento, CA: California State Library.
  10. “Yvonne C Macmanus” in the New York Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 (Year: 1955; Arrival: Idlewild Airport, New York, NY; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 7; Page Number: 268).
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Christian, Paula. "Another Author Heard From..." The Ladder Vol. 5 No. 5 (1961): pp. 19-21.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Charles, Celeste. Interview by Lee Kinard. Sinister Wisdom No. 13 (Spring 1980): 86-7. Retrieved July 30, 2020. http://sinisterwisdom.org/sites/default/files/Sinister%20Wisdom%2013.pdf.
  13. Kemmering, Catherine. "Another Kind of Love." Off Our Backs. February 1981. pp. 21.
  14. Koenig, Rhoda."Love for Sale." New York. May 30, 1983. pp. 49-59.
  15. "Another Kind of Love". Publishers Weekly. November 17, 2003. Retrieved July 30, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. "Twilight Girls: Two Unforgettable Classics from the Golden Age of Lesbian Pulp Fiction". Publishers Weekly. January 13, 2003. Retrieved July 30, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. "Christian, Paula". WorldCat Identities. Retrieved 2020-07-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. "Yvonne MacManus". www.fantasticfiction.com. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  19. "MacManus, Yvonne". WorldCat Identities. Retrieved 2020-07-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. MacManus, Yvonne (1999). Deadly legacy. Thorndike, Me.: Thorndike Press. ISBN 978-0-7862-1873-8. OCLC 40660133.
  21. "INDOMITABLE: The Life of Barbara Grier – Hardcover – Bella Books". Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  22. “Yvonne C MacManus” in the U.S. Public Records Index, 1950-1993, Volume 1.
  23. “Yvonne Christine Macmanus” in the U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007.
  24. “Yvonne Macmanus” in the U.S. Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014.

External links

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