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literature

Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-B  C-E  F-L  M-Z

     
Romance Novels  
 
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Australian author C.C. St. Clair, who has been called "the thinking woman's lesbian romance novelist," adds depth to her novels by exploring complex social issues. In Far From Maddy (2003), she describes the world of homeless queer street youth in the context of the love story; and in Risking-Me (2002), she looks at lesbian domestic violence (not between the lesbian heroes, of course).

Transgender Romance

St. Clair has also written one of the few transgendered romance novels in Morgan in the Mirror (2004), the story of the self-discovery and road to true love of a female to male trans.

Sponsor Message.

A self-described "transsexual romance" is Brad Clayton's The Queen of Hearts, which originally enjoyed underground circulation, but was finally published by ER Publications in 1998. The novel, which depicts the pursuit of a transsexual prostitute by her straight lover, challenges the conventions of the romance novel by its comic perspective and explicit eroticism.

Gay Male Romance Novels

While romance has become a staple of lesbian fiction, that is not so true of gay male fiction. Still, gay men, while often seen as more erotically than romantically inclined, have also produced romance fiction.

Among the antecedents to the gay male romances are the 1950s pulp novels of Jay Little (Clarence Miller), which like the lesbian pulps were melodramatic enough for the romance genre but withheld the requisite happy ending. Another significant precursor is the Loon trilogy by Richard Amory, consisting of Song of the Loon (1966), Song of Aaron (1967), and Listen, the Loon Sings (1968). This series inaugurated a stream of romanticism in gay male erotic fiction, but its explicit eroticism and failure to valorize monogamy defy romance conventions.

Gordon Merrick's The Lord Won't Mind (1970) may be the first gay romance novel, combining as it does a potboiler plot with a gay liberation perspective. It is also one of the first explicitly gay novels to make the New York Times's bestseller list.

Gaywyck, written by photography editor Vincent Virga in 1980, is a gothic romance featuring dashing gay heroes with plenty of campy Victorian sensuality. Virga followed Gaywyck with another Victorian-era sequel, Vadriel Vail, in 2001.

Also in 2001, two men named Scott met at a Boston gay bar and romantically discovered that they were made for each other. Two years later they decided that there must be a market among gay men for romantic stories like their own.

Attorney Scott Pomfret and advertising copywriter Scott Whittier decided to try their hand at writing romantic fiction and founded a company they call Romentics to publish, promote, and sell their books. Inspired by the Harlequin romances that Whittaker's mother and grandmother read, the two Scotts' collaborations, including titles like Razor Burn (2005) and Hot Sauce (2005) are filled with heat, passion, obstacles to true love, and, of course, happy endings.

Bisexual Romance

Bisexuals have not often received their share of attention in the romance market, and have frequently been villainized in both straight and gay fiction. However, at least one 2005 romance novel manages to leave a bisexual "happily ever after." In Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander, Ann Herendeen re-invents the gothic romance with a bisexual hero, as wealthy gay squire Andrew Carrington finds himself falling in love with the spirited Phyllida Lewis, his fiancée of convenience.

Conclusion

Glbtq romance novels may not be the most elevated form of literature, but, like their straight counterparts, they provide entertainment, escape, and a satisfying sense that true love will overcome all obstacles.

Queer writers have successfully translated every romance convention into glbtq iconography, creating dashing, brooding butch heroes who sometimes rescue and are sometimes rescued by shrewd and plucky femme heroines. These intrepid couples navigate intricately tangled plots in order to come together on the moors or in the emergency room or under a strangely colored sun on a planet far away to pledge their undying love forever.

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