Rita Mae Brown (b.1944) is an American novelist, poet, screenwriter, and humorist. Her works are deeply influenced by her commitment to civil rights activism, lesbian and gay liberation, and the early feminist movement.
In her late 20s, Brown wrote a novel called Rubyfruit Jungle (1973,) a funny coming-of-age story of Molly Bolt and her lesbian experiences in high school and beyond. It was rejected by several publishers before finally appearing in 1973 to great acclaim.
Rubyfruit Jungle was one of the first American novels to portray a lesbian character in a liberated way. It was republished in 1977, translated into many languages, and became an enormously popular book. For many years, it has been standard text in college courses on women’s studies and lesbian literature.