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Jeffrey Eugenides won the Pulitzer Prize for his coming-of-age story about intersex protagonist Cal Stephanides. While Middlesex has received some criticism from the intersex community — the author does not identify as intersex, nor did he consult with those who do — the novel is undoubtedly a landmark in queer visibility.
In some literary circles, it is considered a candidate for the title of the Great American Novel. Alan Hollinghurst famously questioned the future of the gay novel this year , which is striking since he's often viewed as helping make queer books accessible to a mainstream audience. His novel broke through in a major way — The Line of Beauty won that year's prestigious Man Booker Prize for fiction. Hollinghurt was praised for his expert command of the English language and his flawless re-creation of upper-class British society and conservative political circles of the s.
Hollinghurst set his pen on the sexual hypocrisies of homophobic politicians, many of whom had their own indiscretions behind closed doors.
The book follows Nick Guest, a gay graduate student unofficially adopted by the family of a schoolmate. Nick gets a sneak peek at the aristocracy, while indulging in no shortage of sex and party favors; the fun comes to a crashing halt as AIDS enters the fray.
Amid all the human drama, there's an amusing and memorable cameo from the Iron Lady. I think this was the first 'lesbian' book I ever read! And devoured. Semi-autobiographical, Rubyfruit Jungle follows Molly Bolt's amorous adventures from childhood to adulthood, including a stint in swinging New York City.
While Molly has sexual adventures with men, her true love is women, and Brown never shies away from describing Molly's insatiable passion for the ladies the title perfectly captures Molly's zeal for female anatomy.
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Now assigned in many queer literature courses, Rubyfruit Jungle is brazen and brave; its frank discussion of lesbian sexuality can seem shocking to modern readers who imagine life in the early s was less raunchy. Rubyfruit Jungle is a page-turning reminder that queer lust and queer sex are timeless. This autobiography by the iconic queer black poet Audre Lorde is an experience of intersectionality, in a genre of intersections. A fierce love letter to the strength women have given her throughout her upbringing, the book explores her challenges growing up blind in s Harlem, fighting for dignity in the heat of Jim Crow, and finding a voice in the New York City lesbian bar scene.
A quietly devastating exploration of love, loneliness, and the often-crushing weight of adult responsibilities, 's A Single Man might just be one of Isherwood's most beloved works. The short novel — under pages — tracks the experiences of an aging college professor in Los Angeles.
Wracked with depression over the loss of his partner in a car accident, George matter-of-factly plots his suicide.
But, as Isherwood demonstrates, life gets in the way. After crashing into others who are suffering as much as he is, George has a change of heart.
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But a last-minute twist changes everything. While Tom Ford's film adaptation conveys the styles and anxieties of the early s, it doesn't exactly capture the beautiful tone of despondency created by the incomparable Isherwood. The City and the Pillar shocked America when it was released in The queer coming-of-age novel about Jim Willard and his search for love was the first novel from a respected writer Gore Vidal to speak directly and sympathetically about the gay experience in an era when homosexuality was still very much taboo.
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You and he were inseparable. What began as serialized stories in the San Francisco Chronicle by writer Armistead Maupin became a novel.
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The pair are set to reprise their roles in an upcoming Netflix adaptation, proving the enduring power of Maupin's words. The book by Edmund White, which begins with the first sexual encounter of a year-old boy, is based on his own experiences coming to terms with his gay identity as a youth in the Midwestern United States. White would later write two additional novels, The Beautiful Room Is Empty and The Farewell Symphony , which follow his gay protagonist into young adulthood. Together, they form a poignant trilogy that chronicles a gay life in the latter half of the 20th century.
The novel also stood trial on obscenity charges both in the United Kingdom where the book was deemed obscene and ordered destroyed, and in the United States, where it was eventually banned. You might not expect to see a graphic novel in this list, but iconic cartoonist and Bechdel test namesake Alison Bechdel always takes the less traveled road.
The book was adapted into a musical, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Some might say Death in Venice is not necessarily a gay novel, since there is no overt same-sex coupling or coitus. Others might say it's about a man with pedophilic tendencies.
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Then others might say it's brilliant. German writer Thomas Mann crafted this novella based on his own experience in Venice, where he caught sight of a handsome young man who captivated him, body and soul. Or is it something more lustful and disturbing? It's difficult, in , to divorce the rich subject of sexual desire from the fact that it revolves around a year-old boy.
But the novella's legacy endures, amd it serves as an important artifact of secret desire at the turn of the 20th century. The book unpacks the emotional life of a young girl displaced by the Nigerian civil war who begins a gut-wrenching affair with a fellow refugee. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history.