Click the links for full articles and interviews


The New Yorker: “[My Butch Career] is a thoughtful examination of how personal experiences spur intellectual progress.”

The LA Review of Books: “Throughout My Butch Career, Newton is remarkably candid about the ways that class has influenced her work and perspective on the historical events unfolding around her.”

Grady Harp, Goodreads: “Esther is such a gifted writer that she is able to talk realistically about the trials of gender conflicts while keeping her narrative so rich in humor and tenderness that the overall impact of her book is one of uplifting moments that speak louder that anger.”

Gay & Lesbian Review: “My Butch Career joins a distinguished list of lesbian herstories that includes Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues and Lillian Faderman’s Naked in the Promised Land.  It is for readers interested in the psychological and cultural challenges for an individual who identifies as a butch lesbian, as well as readers who are interested in lesbian Herstory within the greater context of the gay rights movement." —The Masculine Mystique by Cassandra Langer, pp.44

The Advocate: LGBT magazine The Advocate lists My Butch Career among “The Best Books We Read in 2018: Queer History & Bios”

The Bay Area Reporter: My Butch Career: A Memoir (Duke U.), details ‘[Esther’s] struggle to write, teach and find love’ while surviving a period of intense homophobic persecution."

Curve Magazine: “Newton is always questioning: her life, other gay and lesbian lives, what it means to be butch, the distinctions between butch and trans identities, femininity, masculinity, gender. It’s the proverbial whirlwind, and all of it feels as though it’s being told to us over the various courses of a delectable and complex meal. “

Lesbian News: Excerpted and featured in the April 2019 issue

Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History: (See page 11 for review.) “Newton’s greatest success in this memoir is in narrating a history of lesbian and sexuality studies in the midst of her own life’s story.”


American Anthropologist: Special Book Review Section: Reviewing Mother Camp (Fifty Years Late)

LITHUB: “Dirty Dancing belongs in the lesbian rom-com canon: Esther Newton Makes an Important Case”

NPR: “Newton is one of the few anthropologists who have focused exclusively on gender and gay culture.”



Queer Forty Interviews: Richard meets… Esther Newton

Interview with Sarah Chant for the AQA (Association of Queer Anthropologists) of the American Anthropological Association

A Commitment to Difference: An Interview with Esther Newton 

Just an Anthropologist? An Interview with Esther Newton 

Outward Podcast: The “Travel” Edition: Listen from 30:26 to 44:36


John D’Emilio: “In My Butch Career Esther Newton takes her readers through her chaotic family history, the uncharted territory of coming to terms with an identity that is far outside the norms for her generation, and the transforming effects that new social movements had on her. Bringing personalities, scenes, conversations, and relationships to life, Newton has written a book that is powerful, gripping, and immensely readable.” 

Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy: “Esther Newton's sharp insights into her developing consciousness are sometimes so precise and revealing that they take my breath away. Her wit gives her personal traumas in a hostile society universal meaning, making her pain and pleasure available to all, while her reflections on the interconnections of gender, sex, and feminism in love-making remain fresh. Capturing the multiple layers of identity and examining how social forces shape our lives, My Butch Career is absolutely unique in the way it explores women's desire as both personal and social. I know of no other memoir like it.” 

Tim Retzloff: “[Esther] is a formidable scholar of striking and stern beauty.  I am fortunate and grateful to know her. Get a copy of My Butch Career and delve into a past that belongs to Esther personally and, thanks to her generous sharing, to all of us queer folk collectively. Read it. Relish it.”