Jane Vance Rule, CM, OBC (28 March 1931 – 27 November 2007) was a Canadian writer of lesbian-themed novels and non-fiction.
orn in Plainfield, New Jersey, Jane Vance Rule was the oldest daughter of Carlotta Jane (Hink) and Arthur Richards Rule. She claimed she was a tomboy growing up and felt like an outsider for reaching six feet tall and being dyslexic. When she was 15 she read The Well of Loneliness and wrote later, "suddenly discovered that I was a freak."
Rule studied at Mills College in California. She graduated in 1952, moved to England for a short while and entered in a relationship with critic John Hulcoop. She taught at Concord Academy in Massachusetts where she met Helen Sonthoff and fell in love with her. Rule moved with Hulcoop to work at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1956, but Sonthoff visited her and they began to live together.
In 1964, Rule published Desert of the Heart, after 22 rejections from publishers. The novel featured two women who fall in love with each other and caused Rule to receive a flood of letters from "very unhappy, even desperate" women who felt they were alone and would be miserable. The novel caused her to be sought out by Canadian media, and Rule later wrote, "I became, for the media, the only lesbian in Canada. A role I gradually and very reluctantly accepted and used to educate people as I could." In 1976, she moved to Galiano Island and remained there until the end of her life. Rule's novel was later made into a movie by Donna Deitch, released as Desert Hearts (1985), which quickly became a lesbian classic. The Globe and Mail said of it, "the film is one of the first and most highly regarded works in which a lesbian relationship is depicted favourably."..
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