Duet by Laura Duchamp
Laura Duchamp is often incorrectly credited to Robert Silverberg as one of his pen names, because it sounds close to Loren Beauchamp and both published Midwood titles.
Duchamp was a pen name of Sally Singer, according to Lynn Munroe’s site, who also wrote lesbian novels as March Hastings. Most of Duchamp’s books are, from what I can tell so far, bi-curious novels, about unfulfilled wives turning to women for love, or women, such as Phyllis Campbell in Duet, trapped between their desire for men and their comfort with women.
Phyllis Campbell is 22 and works at a publishing company; she has a strange affair with one of the company’s male authors in his 40s, who writes teenage romances under a woman’s name, books Phyllis grew up on. This is a stab at men writing women’s fiction, as many men wrote lesbian books, and Laura Duchamp (Sally Singer) is one of the rare actual lesbian writrs.
The sex with this male writer is cold and crude, emotionless, but Phyllis thinks this is the way of the world — her only sexual encounter was in college and it was quick and meaningless in a car.
Her second affair is with another writer, a rich older woman, Naomi Bannister, who writes high brow literature and has won every award and is taught in college; she is one of the elite class with two NY homes and a villa in France. She soothes Phyllis after a brutal sexual enocunter with the other writer where the wroter lets another man have her for money.
The intimacy between the two women is tender and thrilling for Phyllis…but in the end she chooses a man she has loved and wants to marry, brushing off the year-old lesbian affair as a time of confusion. Crushed, Naomi crashes her car — it looks like an accident but Phyliss knows it was suicide and she’s to blame.
A well-written, sometimes meldodramtic urban tale of bi-sexuality.