She has always known she was a lesbian, but the publication of her novel Rubyfruit Jungle in 1973 made her the most famous "out" gay person in America. She has published at least 16 novels in all, including a series of murder mysteries where the detective is a cat named Mrs. Murphy. She is also a Hollywood screenwriter and an active campaigner for gay and animal rights and against nuclear armaments. In 1970 she was expelled from the National Organization for Women (NOW) for her outspoken insistence on the recognition of lesbian issues, and in 1971 co-founded the lesbian-feminist separatist collective The Furies.
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