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 Topic: Top 10 gay and lesbian novels
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kev84  



Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 3
Interests: Books, cooking, queer studies, music, art, politics, history...
Physical Location: London, ON, Canada

Posted: 9 May 2005, 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story and E.M. Forster's Maurice are among my favourite books.
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Alexis  



Joined: 20 May 2005
Posts: 1
Interests: queer theory, classical music, 18c literature, landscape theory, iconoclasm, war on gay infantilism
Physical Location: Millbrook, NY

Posted: 20 May 2005, 12:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Top 10 gay and lesbian novels Reply with quote

Interesting challenge, btw, what constitutes a gay/lesbian novel? Does the author have to be admittedly gay? Nah. In no particular order:
Andrew Hallorhan (sp?) Dancer from the Dance
Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
William Bradford, Vatek
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Herman Melville, Billy Budd
Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks
Djuna Barnes, Nightwood

skraame wrote:
I am on the lookout for good books to read! I would be very pleased to recieve some top 10 rankings of gay and lesbian novels. Not only by English and US writers (but preferrably books that are translated into English).

Best regards,
BÝrge

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non omnia possumus omnes
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gntltong  



Joined: 12 Jun 2005
Posts: 3

Physical Location: New zealand

Posted: 12 Jun 2005, 11:30 pm    Post subject: a modern read Reply with quote

in answer to a previous post:
Nah, I agree, a good glbt read doesn't have to be a book written from within the community. It just has to 'hit the spot'

kev84 wrote:
Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story and E.M. Forster's Maurice are among my favourite books.


oh, for sure, on the side of vintage. But how about C.C. Saint-clair's North and Left [take II] on the side of recent releases?
I reminded me of The Nights at the Underground by Marie-Claire Blais. VEry layered and involving.
BTW: she's a dyke :) I, for one, won't hold that against her.
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Janet S-  



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Posts: 2
Interests: books, music, guitar, cats, flowers, women, the color pink...
Physical Location: Huntington Beach, Ca.

Posted: 24 Jun 2005, 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, of the books I've read lately two come to mind. They are:

Tipping the Velvet, by Sarah Waters (though I have yet to her read Affinity, and Fingersmith, I have heard from several people that they are good also).

Stone Butch Blues, by Leslie Feinberg

Oddly, at the moment I can't seem to think of any others. And I can't recommend any gay fiction because I haven't read any.

Happy reading,


Janet S-
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Robina  



Joined: 24 Jun 2005
Posts: 2

Physical Location: Texas

Posted: 24 Jun 2005, 7:00 pm    Post subject: Top 10 Books Reply with quote

[][i]
Wow, Only 10... There is so much fantastic GLBTQ literature out there right now. Here is a brief list of a few of my favorites:

1. Argiri, Laura: The God in Flight

2. Bradley, Marion Zimmer: The Catch Trap

3. Grimsley, Jim: Comfort and Joy

4. Kushner, Ellen: Swordspoint

5. Lackey, Mercedes: The Last Herald Mage Trilogy

6. Lanyon Josh: "The Adrien English Mysteries"

7. Mackle, Elliott: It Takes Two

8. Pomfret, Scott and Whittier, Scott: Spare Parts

9. Scott, Melissa and Barnett, Lisa: Point of Hopes/Point of Dreams

10. Thomas, Josh: Murder at Willow Slough

BTW, If anyone is interested... If you're on the computer you should check out Manna's
"The Administration". This original fic is f-ing unbelievable!! It's so good that if she finally had it published, I'd be the first to buy it.
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Shyrl  



Joined: 18 Feb 2004
Posts: 2
Interests: Gay male fiction and sci-fi Gay male romance fiction Writing Sci-fi Movies
Physical Location: USA -Midwest

Posted: 27 Jun 2005, 12:13 pm    Post subject: Great Reads Reply with quote

Hi,

I've a few favorite books to share.

James Baldwin-Another Country
Anne Rice- Cry to Heaven, and
The feast of all Saints
David Plante- The Catholic
Marion Zimmer Bradley-Catch Trap
Samuel Delaney- Dalgren
Laura Argiri-The God in Flight
John Rechy- The Coming of the Night
John Preston- Mr. Benson

Shyrl
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REBELLE  



Joined: 26 Jun 2005
Posts: 3


Posted: 27 Jun 2005, 3:27 pm    Post subject: Re: gay and lesbian novels Reply with quote

emily b. wrote:
Greetings all.

These are a few novels I can name off the top of head that might have more of a lesbian bent, but has definite "gay overtones" that most would appreciate:

Beauty and Sadness by Yasunami Kawabata

The Bostonians by Henry James

The House of Sprits by Isabelle Allende

The Silk Road

and of course, the one and only lesbian sacred text: The Well of Lonliness by Radclyffe Hall


Hi !

Sorry but Anne-Marie SCHWARZENBACH wrote 'Dead in Persia' who she celebretaded the love between 2 womyn in 1933. It was her love story !


How she was a lesbian novellist, globe trotter journalist, and a great writer as she was a dyke she was forgotten behind her dead.

I am a french lesbian writer and a I am wrtigin an essay on her ![/b]
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REBELLE  



Joined: 26 Jun 2005
Posts: 3


Posted: 27 Jun 2005, 3:28 pm    Post subject: Re: gay and lesbian novels Reply with quote

emily b. wrote:
Greetings all.

These are a few novels I can name off the top of head that might have more of a lesbian bent, but has definite "gay overtones" that most would appreciate:

Beauty and Sadness by Yasunami Kawabata

The Bostonians by Henry James

The House of Sprits by Isabelle Allende

The Silk Road

and of course, the one and only lesbian sacred text: The Well of Lonliness by Radclyffe Hall


Hi !

Sorry but Anne-Marie SCHWARZENBACH wrote 'Dead in Persia' who she celebretaded the love between 2 womyn in 1933. It was her love story !


How she was a lesbian novellist, globe trotter journalist, and a great writer as she was a dyke she was forgotten behind her dead.

I am a french lesbian writer and a I am wrtigin an essay on her ![/b]
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miji  



Joined: 13 Aug 2005
Posts: 3
Interests: Literature Light rock music

Posted: 13 Aug 2005, 8:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Top 10 gay and lesbian novels Reply with quote

skraame wrote:
I am on the lookout for good books to read! I would be very pleased to recieve some top 10 rankings of gay and lesbian novels. Not only by English and US writers (but preferrably books that are translated into English).

Best regards,
BÝrge


I would recommend the well of loneliness by Radcliff Hall, which
was a story of two women.
I have read it twice. It was all peace and beauty, rather classical.
Hope you will enjoy.
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Bi_Nour  



Joined: 16 Aug 2005
Posts: 4

Physical Location: Morocco

Posted: 16 Aug 2005, 5:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Top 10 gay and lesbian novels Reply with quote

skraame wrote:
I am on the lookout for good books to read! I would be very pleased to recieve some top 10 rankings of gay and lesbian novels. Not only by English and US writers (but preferrably books that are translated into English).

Best regards,
BÝrge


The first works dealing with lesbianism are to be found in the writings of the notorious Marquis de sade. In both " juliette and justin " , written in the 1790's, there are descriptions of lesbian love scenes. tribadic orgies in the convents, academies and bordellos are dealt with at length.

- We find Lesbianism dealt with by some of the greatest writers of the 19th century. thus in several of Balzac's novels, such as " The Girl with the golden Eyes ", " Pere Goriot , scenes of parisian life", " Seraphita ".

-Sappho, a picture of life in Paris by Alphonse daudet.
-In Thomas Hardy's " Desperate Remedies ". one of the most outspoken description of lesbianism in English literature up to the twentieth.

-Radclyffe Hall , who wrote what is the best known and widely read book on lesbianism, " The Well of loneliness " published in 1928.

- " Diana " by Diana Frederics, is similar to the Well of loneliness in many respects. It differs from it however, insofar as Diana is the " Strange autobiography of a lesbian and the characters in it are not fictitious.

- " Wind Woman " by Carol hale, makes a serious attempt to introduce a psychoanalytic approach.

-" Lillian Hellman's tender and compassionate play , " The children's Hour " is a rare exception. Produced in 1933, the drama was successfully revised twenty years later on the broadway stage.
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asafi  



Joined: 22 Aug 2005
Posts: 3

Physical Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Posted: 22 Aug 2005, 6:51 pm    Post subject: Puig, Mishima Reply with quote

Two ones that you just ought to read are:
Confessions of a Mask, by Yukio Mishima.
Kiss of the Spider Woman,by Manuel Puig.

and certainly a must-read is Jean Genet, preferably Querelle.

Hugs,
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Alejandro
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moonda  



Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5


Posted: 27 Sep 2005, 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Radclyffe Hall , who wrote what is the best known and widely read book on lesbianism, " The Well of loneliness " published in 1928.


The idea that The Well is about lesbians has been revisited for a few years already.
Maybe that's as close to the wind as Ms Hall dared fly back in 1928 - or maybe she didn't know any better herself, but The Well is now understood to be about a relationship between a bi curious woman and a closet female - to - male transgender called Stephen.
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froony  



Joined: 10 Oct 2005
Posts: 1
Interests: Books, Cinema, Music, Normal stuff...

Posted: 10 Oct 2005, 4:55 am    Post subject: New Blood for Best Gay Lit Reply with quote

I hate all those lists, like the publishing triangle ones... They're all so dull, so old hat...
I mean, Jean Genet, perlease... If you don't kill yourself afterwards, you'll probably never open a book again.
Where the hell are all the vibrant new authors like,
Michael Cunningham: Home at the end of the world, Flesh and Blood, The Hours, Specimen Days.
Nick Alexander: 50 Reasons to Say Goodbye, Sottopasaggio, ...
Armistead Maupin: Tales of The City, More tales, ... The Night Listener...
Robert Dessaix: Corfu, A Mother's Disgrace.
Patrick Gale: Rough Music.
Who do they get to write these lists anyway? My granny?
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Give a Man A Fishing Rod, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
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Olympia  



Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 13


Posted: 28 Oct 2005, 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have some lesbian novels I'd like to recommend. I hope more people will recommend some lesbian novels. I've only been reading lesbian fiction the past few years. I read non-fiction alot and only got back into fiction a few years back. I must say that I'm verrryyy disappointed in the quality of fiction in this genre. Time and time again I read a lesbian novel that only focuses on a woman's sexuality and nothing of her "person" outside of her sexual identity. Othertimes it fits into one of a handful of predictable categories: the obsessed lover, the suicidal lesbian and her story, the man-hating lesbian, the bar girl and her bar life, the lesbian who wants to have sex with as many "hot" women as possible, the coming of age story, or some form of homophobia (internal or external) story. I don't like when a book has a narrow focus. I like it when novels include certain universal or almost universal elements of lesbian identity but not let those elements be the sole focus.

My recommendations:

1. Solitaire and Brahms by Sarah Dreher (my FAVORITE lesbian novel so far; I saw myself in this book. I read this book 3 times and I DO NOT reread fiction!)

2. Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown (She's so funny)

3. Anything by Lee Lynch (I can almost always count on her books to be enjoyable, easy reads)

4. Beyond the Pale by Elana Dykewomon (definite lesbian characters but the book wasn't all about the lesbian and her romance(s)..it was about her life as a WHOLE; her sexual identity is only a part of the WHOLE)

5. The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall (read this quite some time ago but I remember loving it; Sad that it ended up with a 'tortured soul' character like alot of lesbian novels but I enjoyed the WRITING)

6. Zami by Audre Lourde (wonderful! And nice that it didn't revolve around racism; looking forward to finding other books by lesbian women of color that don't center around racism)

7. Vital Ties by Karen Kringle (read this so long ago; I just remember really liking it)

8. Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg (OMG!!! Very emotional book; definitely 5 stars!)

9. Choices by Nancy Toder (I remember liking this when I read it but was disturbed by the part where the main character "reverted to childhood" and started sucking her thumb and acting like a child with her lover.....um....WTH???)

10. "Naked in the Promised Land: A Memoir" by Lillian Faderman (excellent author)

I read Sarah Waters book, "Tipping the Velvet" and was very pleased and how well written it was. The problem I had with it was that it was the same old sad, recycled, dark lesbian plot. The twist was the era, that's it. The well worn story of lesbian who loses (near closet) lover to a man was there. The story of lesbian who's on any and every sexual adventure having empty, emotionally unfullfilling sex is there. I thought the main character was very flaky and completely without ambition. She's like a chameleon. She finds a *lover* and becomes whatever she think her lover wants her to be. At the end of the story true love is claimed, but it's just another lover and another scenario. Another trip.

I've read some of Jeannette Winterson's books. I did like "Written on the Body", but again, it's one person obsessed with another. That theme runs rampant in lesbian fiction. Some of her novels read like extended poetry.

One other book that I thought was well written is "Sita" by Kate Millet. I admit I didn't finish this book. The book focuses on a women's self destructive obsession with her on again, off again lover. I got halfway through the book and couldn't stand the repetitiveness of that obsession. It's like page after page after page of how Millet's irrational passion for this woman is destroying her, her life, and how she is very aware of it but continues to do it and fall apart b/c of it. It got old and boring after awhile so I decided to leave it unfinished. I wasn't interested in such a heavy focus on mental illness. I did enjoy her writing style.

Some popular authors have been a big disappointment for me (ex Karin Kallmaker, Sarah Aldridge). I'll keep searching for excellent ("literary") fiction.


Last edited by Olympia on 18 Nov 2005, 8:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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Olympia  



Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 13


Posted: 12 Nov 2005, 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only gay book I've read is Giovanni's room by James Baldwin. That novel is so dark and sad. There is such extreme shame about homosexuality there. EXTREME. A so called "love" affair but filled with so much hurt, sadness and SHAME. I'm just so tired of hearing about that in queer novels. I know, I know. I'm not surprised b/c I understand, but you'd think that with fiction ppl could try to imagine a loving, open, free, and happy relationship. Imagine it at least!

I think many novel reflect current consciousness. As healing expands and we are more loving towards ourselves and each other, it'll be reflected in what we write about.

**sigh** wish it'd hurry up.
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