I spotted this on the shelves at work and remembered that I had read it earlier in the year, and should thus write about it for the VVV.
I remember picking it out because I had heard that it was a ground breaking book and one which really seemed to embody the ideas behind the Virago Modern Classics series. It certainly was revolutionary; with its lesbian themes it was immediately banned in Britain and only available in the US after a long court battle.
It tells the story of a girl named Stephen born into a family in England at the beginning of the last century. Just this existence of a girl with a boy's name suggests that there is something abnormal going on. Stephen's father desperately wanted a son, hence the name. As Stephen grows up, she finds that she wants to be a boy, and in adulthood pursues a series of lesbian relationships. It is not a happy existence and we learn a lot about the problems of being homosexuality 100 years ago.
The good thing about resurrecting this book from my memory is that having consulted my list, I see that she wrote three further VMCs: The unlit lamp, Adam's breed and A Saturday life which I am definitely now on the look out for.
Four VMC covers - I borrowed the most recent one from the library.