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 Topic: Top 10 gay and lesbian novels
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skraame  



Joined: 13 Apr 2003
Posts: 11
Interests: Literature
Physical Location: Oslo, Norway

Posted: 16 Apr 2003, 6:29 am    Post subject: Top 10 gay and lesbian novels Reply with quote

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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Claude  



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 26
Interests: glbtq culture
Physical Location: New Orleans

Posted: 16 Apr 2003, 7:01 am    Post subject: Re: Top 10 gay and lesbian novels Reply with quote

The Publishing Triangle some time ago commissioned a group of writers and editors to compile a list of the best 100 gay and lesbian novels. The list that they finally came up with was--as all such lists are bound to be--somewhat controversial. Mann's "Death in Venice" was ranked first, Baldwin's "Giovanni's Room" came in second, Genet's "Our Lady of Flowers" third. The complete list can be found, alongside a readers' list, at http://www.publishingtriangle.org/100best.html

Claude


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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fpleader  



Joined: 16 Apr 2003
Posts: 1


Posted: 16 Apr 2003, 8:22 pm    Post subject: great books Reply with quote

I would recommend Jamie O'Neal's AT SWIM TWO BOYS, an Irish novel. set during the Irish rebellion Great writing, great plot, great gay characters.
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Decker  



Joined: 16 Apr 2003
Posts: 5
Interests: Early 30's doctoral student and writer. I am interested in Twentieth Century Gay American Male Literature. See my website for my interest in writing.
Physical Location: New England

Posted: 16 Apr 2003, 9:27 pm    Post subject: Book Suggestion Reply with quote

Hello. I would suggest Andrew Holleran's "The Beauty of Men." The prose is powerful. Also, there is also "The Rain God" by Arturo Islas.
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Gibeon  



Joined: 01 Apr 2003
Posts: 22
Interests: HIstory, languages, writing, current events, movies
Physical Location: Memphis

Posted: 18 Apr 2003, 9:39 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


BÝrge, two gay novels come to my mind, both of which meant a lot to me when I was still in the closet. Both of these are positive, uplighting stories. They're probably out of print but you can still buy them by going to a "book search" website like Albris and choosing the most reasonable price for what you want.

http://www.alibris.com

The novels are Haakon by C. F. Griffin and Gaywyck by Vincent Virga. Here is some information about each of them from their respective bookcovers.....

Haakon by C. F. Griffin wrote:
"World War II has ended and Private Haakon Hvitfeldt, forty-five, returns from the front to resume his position as professor of history at a university in New York.

Liberator of prison camps without survivors, participant in the conflagrations of which academic history is neatly composed, Haakon is no longer sure of the facts. And after three years in the army, masquerading as straight---relieved only by brief, bittersweet furloughs with his longtime lover, the flamboyant photographer Simon Foster---Haakon is no longer sure of himself. For he has fallen in love with Dan, a youong heterosexual man he befriended in the army.

Haakon's return to civilian life exacerbates his conflicts. His existence is rent into public and private selves, and he cannot dwell wholly in either. Under the pressure of society's--and his own---expecations, Haakon is unable to decipher the promptings of his heart.

His allegiance is divided among the perverse attachment to Simon---elusive, inscrutable, "serene as a Renaissance angel"; the freely given devotion of Dan, who seeks out Haakon in New York; and the sanctioned "love of a good woman." Initially a diverting companion to be escorted to social functions, Ellen becomes a beacon in Haakon's life; her grace and uncomplicated love draw Haakon's affection and, ultimately, his passion.

That his passion is not as great as any he has known with the men he has loved seems a small price to pay for the refuge she offers---until Simon suddenly reappears, home from his travels.

Rarely have the scents, tastes and textures, the joys and anguish of intimacy, memory and loss been so richly evoked as in this luminous, haunting novel."


I loved the facts that Haakon was set in an era, circa 1946-1947, that was even more repressive than the one that I grew up in later, and that he was a quiet, unassuming gay man and that he didn't die, commit suicide or was killed by the end of the novel. This novel is well-worth anyone's time to read......

The second is a serious take-off on the romantic "bodice-ripping" novels and is set in New York in the late 1800s. It is reminiscent of Gothic novels like Jane Eyre, full of mysteries that have to be solved by the heroine, but in this case a young gay hero. It is very well-written.

Gaywyck by Vincent Varga wrote:
"He was so innocent...until he fell captive to the brooding master and sinister secrets of.....Gaywyck....

Robert.....with his soft blond hair, emerald eyes, and porcelain skin, Robert was almost too beautiful to be alive. He was only seventeen when he went to Gaywyck to catalogue the vast library, never expecting to be flung into a terrifying web of danger and lust...

Donough....The master of Gaywyck was the epitome of elegance and sophistication, it was only his brooding Irish good looks that hinted at the fires raging beneath the surface. Though he longed to return young Robert's love, Donough was haunted by the dark sexual secrets of his past.

Slowly, breathlessly, the passions of Donough and Robert rise to a towering crescendo. But the lovers are unaware of the hidden evil that is watching...waiting....determined to destroy them..."


Both were very empowering to me at a critical time in my life. I'm thinking there are some other novels that you may also enjoy. If so, I may list some more later....
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ave51  



Joined: 27 Apr 2003
Posts: 1
Interests: cinema, theater, novels, music
Physical Location: mexico

Posted: 27 Apr 2003, 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very good novel is "Letters to Montgomery Clift" by NoŽl Alumit, a filipino actor and writer from California. It's from McAdam/Cage Publishers and you can easily get it from electronic bookstores. It's about the way cinema touches our lives and lets us move on... A wonderful novel that has been selected as "best of..." [/b]
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azlyn69  



Joined: 01 May 2003
Posts: 2
Interests: I am a photographer, ans currently attend art school.
Physical Location: Indianapolis

Posted: 2 May 2003, 3:25 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 have to say my pick for best gay novel would be the Lover by Jeanette Winterson. I have read this book three times and I still love it.

Tommy [/quote]
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tmale  



Joined: 09 May 2003
Posts: 2
Interests: writing, cats, yardwork, video games, music, guitar, surfing, inner beauty, alternative and grunge music, the night sky, the Pacific Ocean
Physical Location: Salinas, California

Posted: 9 May 2003, 6:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Top 10 gay and lesbian novels Reply with quote

[quote="skraame"]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).

Two awesome books I regard highly due to their direct impact upon my life were:
Dear Sir or Madam by Mark Rees
Phalus Palace by Dean Kotula

Both contain excellent information. Both contributed greatly to my own growth expierience as a trans man.


I wish you the best of luck in your search. I wish I could suggest more titles, but acess to LGBT literature in my hometown is limited (if not almost nonexistant).
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riccie00  



Joined: 09 May 2003
Posts: 1
Interests: Reading, writing, and, don't laugh, baseball (you'd only laugh if you knew which team I root for...)
Physical Location: New York City

Posted: 9 May 2003, 9:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Top 10 gay and lesbian novels Reply with quote

BÝrge:

I would like to recommed several novels I've read (and re-read in some cases) which, for different reasons, captured aspects of the "gay experience":

Like People in History--Felice Picano (or anything by him)
An Arrow's Flight--Mark Merlis
Toby's Lie--Daniel Vilmure
The Coming Storm--Paul Russell
While England Sleeps--David Leavitt
Crystal Boys--Pai Hsien-yung (I found this one quite by accident and it might be pretty difficult to find, but it's worth the hunt)
Letters to Montgomery Clift, Noel Alumit (I see this was recommended by another contributor, which is nice to see because I've been telling everyone I know about this book!)

And, if you can find it: The Unofficial Gay Manual--it's not really fiction, but it's very funny.

Good luck!
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rich!
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Colvin  



Joined: 26 May 2003
Posts: 1
Interests: Politics, literature, movies
Physical Location: Syracuse, NY

Posted: 26 May 2003, 7:01 am    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'd like to put in a good word for the novels of Ronald L. Donaghe. Especially "Common Sons" and "The Blind Season". Donaghe reaches out for a much neglected audience, the young adult rural gay man. While urban young people have high school gay and straight alliances or accepting coalitions, very few support groups exist for rural kids. I would like to see Donaghe's books available in more libraries, especially rural school system libraries. These books are available from Amazon.com or check Donaghe's website www.RonDonaghe.com
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ADAlvarez  



Joined: 26 May 2003
Posts: 5
Interests: See links page in homepage
Physical Location: Chicago, IL

Posted: 26 May 2003, 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are my favorite queer fictions:

--Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig
An essential read -- post-Stonewall gay fiction rarely matches its verve and inventiveness. Read it in Spanish if you can...!

-- The Passion by Jeanette Winterson
My favorite fiction from my favorite lesbian author.

--Saki: The Complete Saki by H.H. Munro (Saki)
A much underappreciated gay author...

-- Was by Geoff Ryman
Finds the kingdom of Oz in unexpected places.

-- China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh
Imagines a Chinese Communist future through the eyes of a Chinese-American gay man.

-- Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand by Samuel R. Delany
Out of print at the moment -- deserves a new edition.

--The Body and Its Dangers and Other Stories by Allen Barnett
This one also needs to come back into print.

--Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
A fascinating, infuriating book.

-- Five Novels by Ronald Firbank
A campy delight.

--Mapp & Lucia by E. F. Benson
The entire LUCIA series is a hoot -- this is the best-known volume.

--Angels in America by Tony Kushner
This is a play, but it's included here as an extra as it's a favorite...

Hope you enjoy them!
_________________
Aldo Alvarez
author of INTERESTING MONSTERS : Fictions (Graywolf Press)
http://www.blithe.com/aa/
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Claude  



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 26
Interests: glbtq culture
Physical Location: New Orleans

Posted: 29 May 2003, 7:52 am    Post subject: Great lists Reply with quote

These are great lists. It is always interesting to see what lliterary works touch individuals most deeply.

The novels that have probably meant the most to me over the years are Isherwood's A Single Man, Baldwin's Giovanni's Room, Forster's Maurice, and Vidal's The City and the Pillar. I also feel compelled to re-read Terry Andrews's The Story of Harold at least annually.
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emily b.  



Joined: 30 May 2003
Posts: 1
Interests: reading, world music, science, most things about anything
Physical Location: philadelphia, PA

Posted: 30 May 2003, 1:55 pm    Post subject: gay and lesbian novels Reply with quote

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
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lhood  



Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 4
Interests: gay literature and such
Physical Location: San Diego, CA

Posted: 26 Jun 2003, 6:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Great lists Reply with quote

Claude wrote:
These are great lists. It is always interesting to see what lliterary works touch individuals most deeply.

The novels that have probably meant the most to me over the years are Isherwood's A Single Man, Baldwin's Giovanni's Room, Forster's Maurice, and Vidal's The City and the Pillar. I also feel compelled to re-read Terry Andrews's The Story of Harold at least annually.


Claude,

I do agree that it's interesting to see what literary works touch people. While I might disagree with Forster's Maurice, your other picks do resonate with a 70's era gay that sought out some of the scant gay literature available at the time (of course I have a few other suggestions). Of more interest, perhaps, is The Story of Harold. And, I do have a fun story about the novel if you are interested.

Lee
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lhood  



Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 4
Interests: gay literature and such
Physical Location: San Diego, CA

Posted: 26 Jun 2003, 7:46 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


Well, maybe here's one: Before Night Falls by Reinaldo Arenas.

Much depends, of course, on your interests.

Lee
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