http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/Today/Books/2007/12/01/4699466-sun.html Cancer claims pioneer lesbian author Rule Sat, December 1, 2007 By CP VANCOUVER -- Jane Rule, acclaimed novelist and lesbian role model, has died at her home in British Columbia after a brief battle with liver cancer. She was 76. Born in 1931 in Plainfield, N.J., Rule was educated at Mills College in California. She moved to Canada in the mid-1950s, where she found her artistic voice on a small island off B.C.'s coast. For 35 years on Galiano Island, Rule found happiness at her typewriter and in the arms of her partner of nearly 50 years, Helen Sonthoff. She was unapologetic about her life choices, once observing: "Simply to be visible is a way of teaching people. In lifestyle, yes, and to say I'm a lesbian and that's a perfectly possible and happy way to live." She wrote more than a dozen books, including her breakthrough novel, 1964's Desert of the Heart, which was later made into a movie. She was also a recipient of the Order of British Columbia. Rule made her mark as a sharp critic of censorship and an advocate of gay rights and environmental causes. She also had a vivid sense of humour, once observing, "If men really are turned on by all that awful underwear, leg and footwear, all that paint and headachy perfume, then maybe they should have been wearing it all along."