elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

The Lost Library, Gay Fiction Rediscovered, edited by Tom Cardamone

Introduction by Tom Cardamone: in his introduction Tom Cardamone well explains as this is a book of love, the love many authors have for the authors who inspired them; not only inspiration, indead, but sometime also salvation, companionship, hope and sometime desolation and loneliness. Tom Cardamone explains how the book was born by a word of mouth, thanks to friends of friends who wanted to share their own experience and hard to find books that probably people should search and read. While I know some of the names of these authors (but not their books), I’m more familiar with the names of who wrote about them. In a case or the others, this non-fiction book is a must for who love gay literature. And reading it, you will realize that it’s not even a non-fiction book but more a memoir about authors who love authors, about young gay men searching for love, for acceptance, for recognition, and finding all of them, and more, in books, sometime the only certainity you have in this world.

Rabih Alameddine, The Perv: Stories by Michael Graves: Michael Graves has a relationship with Rabih Alameddine’s collection of short stories, The Perv, that is a mix of need, love and friendship. First of all he absolutely wanted this book, so much that he bought it two times when the first copy arrived incomplete. After that, apparently Michael Graves brought this book everywhere in the house, day and night, even in the bathroom, as if letting it go he had a chance to lose it again. The stories he describes in the anthology are of bittersweet love more than “perversion” as the title let people think. I didn’t know about this book other than the same Tom Cardamone included it in his Inside Reader list for my blog, he as me, fascinated by this book after reading the essay Michael Graves wrote for the Lost Library… maybe this book is addictive and probably that is the reason why people who own it are not willing to let it go.

Allen Barnett, The Body and Its Dangers by Christopher Bram: with Christopher Bram’s essay I’m only at the second one, and author, and I already want to cry for the loss I’m reading about and for the innumerable and immense I will read about; many of these authors died at the beginning of the ’90, some of them as Allen Barnett with only one book to speak for them to the future generation, but it’s a book that has a very loud voice. Allen Barnett was Christopher Bram’s friend and so the essay of an author about another author is also a farewell letter to a dear friend and the book they are talking about, The Body and Its Dangers, assumes a meaning of inheritance: what was the author thinking while writing it? Did he know it was his only chance to speak to the future? And if yes, can you imagine how strong his voice is?

Neil Bartlett, Ready to Catch Him Should He Fall by Philip Clark: Philip Clark’s relationship with Neil Bartlett’s book, Ready to Catch Him Should He Fall, is almost scaring since apparently he relived every chapter of the book with his personal story, and the book was written way before his relationship begun. I haven’t read the book, but Philip Clark’s own story has not an happily ever after even if, from what I understood, he is still in love with the Boy who played the Boy’s role in his life. And I don’t know but I read his essay both as a “thank you” to Neil Bartlett to be able to catch on paper his own life, but also as a message to Boy, “I still love you, why you don’t come back?”.

George Baxt, A Queer Kind of Death by Larry Duplechan: it’s strange but I don’t think Larry Duplechan liked so much George Baxt’s A Queer Kind of Death; it’s his chosen book more for the importance it had for him, young black gay man in the ’70, as the only gay novel with a black gay man as main character, than for its literay worth. Actually Duplechan is pretty critic on the quality of the novel itself even if I had the impression that the young Duplechan was a little in love with the the main character of that novel. But as often happens, when you meet again a lover years after, sometime you wonder how it was possible that you were in love with him, and what remains of that feeling is only a bittersweet memory. This is what Hal Bodner wrote about A Queer Kind of Death in his Inside Reader list:
The first book in Baxt’s Pharaoh Love detective series is really the only one to bother reading and it is certainly worth the read! Though some may be put off by the 1960's casual racist tone of some of the language, the reader must try to remember that when it was written, the notion of political correctness did not exist. If you can put the offensively racial language into the context of the period, you’ll find an enjoyable detective novel with the ultimate surprise ending of all time.
Bruce Benderson, User by Rob Stephenson: this is probably the first essay in the book with few emotional involvement by the author, and so it’s probably the more impartial; Rob Stephenson indead criticizes Bruce Benderson’s book, User, for its value in describing another dying part of the gay imaginery, Times Square and its theatres, where the movies probably were not the main attraction. I learned from other authors that indead that place of NYC was both scaring and enthralling, gathering many of them for both a sense of membership and loneliness: among lost souls you felt less lonely. Rob Stephenson tells us that Bruce Benderson doesn’t like to be remembered as a gay author, but probably if you wrote a book about a place that is so near to many gay men, then it’s difficult not to being associated to it.

Christopher Coe, Such Times by Jameson Currier: strangely enough I haven’t read Christopher Coe’s books, but he seems to me like one of those authors I know since many of my friends talk about him and his inspiring books, only two since Christopher Coe is one of those authors AIDS has stolen, and yes it’s a theft, of life and art. Jameson Currier had already included Such Times in the Lost Library, and when I asked him to compile and Inside Reader for me, he included I Look Divine, in this way honoring the two only books by Christopher Coe. Other than this essay and that Inside Reader list, I’d like to copy and past what another author, Shaun Levin, wrote about Such Times:
[In which a dying young man, while watching a game show with his best friend, remembers the great love of his life.] I will always have a copy of Christopher Coe’s Such Times. Preferably more than one, for as much as I like to lend out my books, and don’t mind if people return them or not, I will always want a copy of Such Times within easy reach. I need it for its language, for each glorious sentence, for the brutal allure of its honesty, for the prayer-like quality of its prose, the deceptive simplicity of this story of love and death and endurance and friendship. If it wasn’t for the plague, this book would never have been written. And if it wasn’t for the plague, Christopher Coe would still be with us, writing works as stunning as this and his only other novel, I Look Divine.
Daniel Curzon, Something You Do in the Dark by Jesse Monteagudo: this is another book that is dear to the author of the essay due to the influnce the book had in the young gay man that Jesse Monteagudo was, searching for both inspiration and reassurance that he was not alone in the world. More than the main character of the book, that indead has not an easy life and not at all an happily ever after, Jesse Monteagudo seems to identify more with the author of the book, Daniel Curzon; in a way Jesse Monteagudo is glad that Daniel Curzon belies his own character, having a good life as gay man with a long-term and lasting relationship. Where the book, and its character, were not thought to be militant, and indead they were identified like that, Daniel Curzon challenges prejudices, having, and maybe pretending, an ordinary, but not boring, same-sex relationship.

Melvin Dixon, Vanishing Rooms by Ian Rafael Titus: again an author who was searching in another author inspiration and example and again an author, Melvin Dixon, who AIDS killed in body but not in voice, on the contrary, having died for AIDS-related complications makes him part of an enlarged family, and who remains of that family is still mourning their dear relatives and they are doing it together, in group, and maybe even in this book. Some of those authors are available in re-print editions of their books, some not, and maybe this book is a way to tell publishers, look, you have a task now, help us to remember. Ian Rafael Titus felt Melvin Dixon as a dear relative since he wrote about interaccial gay relationships, again something the young Ian Rafael Titus was not used to find in books, and truth be told, it’s not easy to find even today.

John Donovan, I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip by Martin Wilson: this is probably the essay that struck me for its sincerity, the author at some point tells us “I remember being homophobic when I was a teenager, which I can see now was a reaction to the feelings I secretly had for other boys.” Wow, an author of a YA gay novel that is true enough to tell us that he was homophobic, and right in that age he is now writing about. I’m not sure I would be able to be as sincere as Martin Wilson is in the same situation. That is also the reason why Martin Wilson elected John Donovan’s I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip as the most influential YA novel from his perspective: not only it’s probably the first YA novel about a gay teenager, dating back at 1969, it’s also something that later on it was difficult to find, a novel with hope and not only guilt. The young teenager in the novel has a huge sense of guilt for being gay, actually he doesn’t want and he will not admit of being gay, but at least he is doing a path towards being adult and he will have the chance to arrive to the end of that path, not matter what the target will be.

Robert Ferro, The Blue Star by Stephen Greco: Stephen Greco’s eassy is another farewell letter more than a literary essay, even if, indead, in describing his friend and mentor Robert Ferro, he is also giving to the reader an idea of how the book, The Blue Star, is: carefully plotted and masterfully written, more like a work of art than a simple novel. Robert Ferro was, apparently, a man who loved beautiful things and had the good luck to have the chance to enjoy it; unfortunately fate is not always magnanimous, and Robert Ferro and his partner, Michael Grumley, died at few weeks of distance, as many other in this book, due to the AIDS plague. But they survive in the good memories and advices they give to their friends, authors who looked upon them for inspiration, and in the literary award, Ferro-Grumley, that joins their names together, forever, like they were joined in life and death.

John Gilgun, Music I Never Dreamed Of by Wayne Courtois: even if Wayne Courtois met John Gilgun, his essay on Music I Never Dreamed Of is probably the first “critical” essay in the book, and it’s strange since Wayne Courtois started it with “I meant to write a conventional critical essay on John Gilgun‘s novel Music I Never Dreamed Of. But who was I kidding? I‘m not a literary critic.” And instead I think he wrote exactly that, analyzing the book sentence by sentence, trying to find the hidden meaning in the main character’s action, trying to understand if the main character is the author’s self, letting a hypothetical young man in the ’50 experiencing what he had experienced, finding the answers to the questions the author himself had, and maybe didn’t answered then.

Agustin Gomez-Arcos, The Carnivorous Lamb by Richard Reitsma: if I’m true I knew about The Carnivorous Lamb for all the wrong reasons, or at least I think so, but oddily, reading this essay I’m not more so sure. By the way, Richard Reitsma admists something that links us together: “As is my custom, either out of an insatiable curiosity, or dyslexia, or both, I always start a book at the end, opening to the last pages and reading, to decide if I like it.” Now I don’t always start a book at the end, but I do that when I’m not sure I want to read the book. As for The Carnivorous Lamb, since I haven’t had the chance to find a print copy, I didn’t know about the same-sex wedding scene, and I’m not entirely sure this is an happily ever after book, but for me it’s a reason to read the book as it was for Richard Reitsma. Richard Reitsma continues in the essay “[that scene] was certainly sufficiently compelling for me to take the book, sit on the floor in the middle of the stacks, and begin reading (from the beginning)”. And here the strange coincidence, the reason why I knew about The Carnivorous Lamb: someone has written that a recent movie is losely inspired by this book; the movie is “Do Começo ao Fim (English: "From Beginning to End")”. The movie is glossy, and for sure completely lost the political meaning that The Carnivorous Lamb had, but strangely enough, it has the same appealing to the female readers that The Carnivorous Lamb has still now, as Richard Reitsma witnesses in the college course he teaches.

Michael Grumley, Life Drawing by Sam J. Miller: now believe me, I’m writing these commentaries soon after I read each single essay, and when I wrote the one for Robert Ferro, labelling that book as a work of art, I didn’t know Sam J. Miller was to describe Michael Grumley’s Life Drawining as “The novel itself is a modest work of art.” Another thing that links together Ferro and Grumley, and believe me, I had a cold thrill when I realized that. Moreover Sam J. Miller states the obvious and still something I didn’t realize: why these authors are out of print? Is that really the gay readers are shallow and don’t want to read about an era that was devastating? Or is not simply that “AIDS did not just kill the brilliant writers and artists whose names we know. AIDS also killed the literary agents and the editors and the publicists and the audiences that nurtured and supported those artists, and in the process an overwhelming amount of art and talent has been lost.” I hope this book will help people to browse this Lost Library, and publishers to think that maybe, instead of publishing the new gay authors, they can go back on re-publishing some of the lost authors.

Lynn Hall, Sticks and Stones by Sean Meriwether: Sean Meriwether is astoundishly sincere admitting that, maybe, Lynn Hall’s Sticks and Stones saved his life; in that book young Sean found a character, Ward, that gave him hope for the future, a proof that was possible to be gay and that it wasn’t an ignominy. Young Sean was even more scared since at first he didn’t understand why he was ostracized: he had always had “boyfriends”, and no one thought twice about it. But that was when he was a child and sex was not in question. In his teenager years Sean had to face his peers and also a school system that didn’t help him, on the contrary it was against him, same as the main character of Syicks and Stones, 17 years old Tom. In the book Sean Meriwether searched for reassurance and a reason to live, and that is the tricky part when you write about and for Young Adults, you have to realize that maybe, out there, there is a teenager who is waiting for your inspired words: “Gay kids are still three times more likely to attempt suicide, develop substance abuse, and run away from home. It is up to us as a community to present positive role models in young adult literature so they know they are not alone, and that there are many ways for them to grow into gay adults.” I also like Lynn Hall’s attitude: the publisher wanted for Tom or Ward to “conveniently” die, so that there was a proof more that being gay was not healthy, and so to not give to the young minds the wrong example; the author indead accepted to chance the ending in a way that is not clear, but I read as a vengeance the fact that, the one to die in the end is Floyd, the guy who firstly badmouthed Tom.
Richard Hall, Couplings by Jonathan Harper: I think Jonathan Harper in a way has not found inspiration in Richard Hall’s Couplings, but he found courage; from what I can understand Jonathan Harper was, and still is, in a long-term relationship, but his partner is older and more “serious” than him. How strange, that is a snobism inside the snobism: Jonathan Harper is not ostracized for being gay, he is ostracized for being a humanist; he loves books and works with books and instead his husband and his husband’s friends have more serious jobs, businessmen, lawyers and similar executive roles. As many gay teenagers want to be part of the ordinary society, Jonathan Harper wants to be considered by his husband’s friends, and he picked one in particular, Simon. In Richard Hall’s Couplings, Jonathan Haper found one story that he thought gives a right insight in Simon’s own life: what a satisfaction for him to find something worthy about Simon in a “literary” book. He eagerly wanted for his husband, for Simon, to admit that yes, indead, he was right; but nor his husband or Simon gave him that satisfaction. Nevertheless, Couplings is still there, in Jonathan Harper’s bookshelf, and I think he has not yet lost the hope that one day, Simon or his husband will realize how right he was.

J.S. Marcus, The Captain’s Fire by Aaron Hamburger: with his essay Aaron Hamburger unfolds a mystery, what happened to J.S. Marcus? Aaron Hamburger, like J.S. Marcus, is an American Jew travelling Europe, and in particul Germany. When he happened to find out that J.S. Marcus was living in Berlin, he managed to obtain his email address, but J.S. Marcus was not able to meet with him: was it a kind way to say, no, thank you, I don’t want to meet, or was it really that he was not in Berlin at the same time Aaron Hamburger was? In a way or the other they didn’t meet, and when Aaron Hamburger was back in the US, he read J.S. Marcus’s novel, The Captain’s Fire. Aaron Hamburger writes his critical essay on the novel, but after that he wanted also to meet, or at least talk with, J.S. Marcus. But J.S. Marcus has disappeared from the face of the earth. Is it a choice or is it something more sinister?

James McCourt, Time Remaining by Timothy Young: first of all, I want to borrow again something another author wrote for an Inside Reader list for my blog, and that author is Vincent Virga, longtime companion of James McCourt:
Okay, also time for full disclosure: This year Genji is 1000 years old and Jimmy and I are together 45 years, which in terms of human relationships seems a neat equivalent. If Jimmy's classic “Mawrdew Czgowchwz” encapsulates the "divine frenzy" (in Richard Howard's description) of “divadienst”, then “Time Remaining” captures the grief and the defiantly hilarious time in our lives during the age of the devastating AIDS epidemic. And as one elderly gentleman of our persuasion said to Jimmy after a packed-out reading (during a wild snowstorm) of “Queer Street” in the now-defunct Barnes & Noble on Sixth Avenue and 22nd Street: "We really did talk that way, you know! You haven't made anything up, you know! But, of course you know! Why else would I have dragged my ass out into this demented blizzard if you didn't know?"
After this paragraph, I don’t think I can say anything else that is more interesting about Time Remaining, and probably I shouldn’t dare, but I will try. Timothy Young approached James McCourt in the same way I’m approaching many of these authors that were way before me, at first out of curiosity and after reading them, with the hope of soaking up their experience, to learn by them how to be better, writer, man, anything. But these authors, James McCourt, Vincent Virga, and other similars, kindly smile to you and preserve their secret, their meaning of life, since, well, it’s not for them to tell you how to write, how to live, you have to find your own path, and if, in the end, it will be similat to theirs, then you can go back to them and share their secret. As Timothy Young says about Time Remaining: “It‘s a book about faggotry — the celebration of the best qualities of gay life — self-amusement, defiance, an aggressively earned comfort with the world.” And you have to earn your own comfort, like they did.

Mark Merlis, American Studies by Rick Whitaker: Rick Whitaker’s essay on Mark Merlis’s American Studies is the most detached of all the previous I read, he starts this work like a scholar has to do, searching for reference and fact. Rick Whitaker doesn’t identify himself in the author or his character, but indead he wants to find out if one of the characters has some real life connection with “F. O. Matthiessen, who was for many years a professor at Harvard, where he helped found the field of American Studies; he, similarly outed as both far-left-wing and gay, jumped from a window to his death in 1950.” Rick Whitaker is more lucky than other scholar before him, since he can actually ask to Mark Merlis, and he did, but Mark Merlis simply answered, read the preface of the re-printed edition of American Studies that will be out in 2009. Now, that is a good promotional move, in this way Mark Merlis achieved two goals, one he indirectly gave an answer to Rick Whitaker, that probably has now bought that re-printed edition, and two he had the chance to let reader know that American Studies is not available, if you want to find the same answer.

Charles Nelson, The Boy Who Picked the Bullets Up by Jim Marks: Again, this is a critical essay, Jim Marks analyzes the novel in details, and search for hidden meaning in the written words and in the action of the main character Kurt; again it doesn’t seems that Jim Marks is particularly involved in the novel, he doesn’t indentify himself with Kurt, on the contrary, sometime I had the feeling that Jim Marks doesn’t particularly likes Kurt at all. Until the end of the essay, I didn’t understand why Jim Marks chose this book for the Lost Library, but right in the last sentence I understood: this is a book about a gay soldier fighting the Vietnam war; there were many things that were wrong, the war first of all, but also the “Don’t ask don’t tell” policy, the apparently uselessness of the war, and the fact that, indead, there was no apparently reason for Kurt to have joined the Army. And now, decades later, US soldiers are again fighting an apparently uselessness war and the “Don’t ask don’t tell” policy is still there; in the end, we have not learned from the past.

Kyle Onstott & Lance Horner, Child of the Sun by Michael Bronski: Michael Bronski describes Onstott & Horner’s Child of the Sun as: “like Mandingo and the other novels – both badly, even terribly, written but compulsively readable.” So no, Child of the Sun is not a piece of high literature like all the previous books in the Lost Library, but it has its right to be there, like and perhaps more than the previous books. Child of the Sun was a book that probably was not targeted to the gay readers, but it had a gay main character, and even if I haven’t read it, from Michael Bronski’s words, I can understand that the authors didn’t want for their main character to be unhappy or ostracized, on the contrary, he was imposing his sexuality like it was his right to do, and it was indead. Moreover Michael Bronski didn’t imply anything, and I have not enough knowledge in the matter, but his essay makes me wonder about Onstott and Horner’s relationship and their apparently fondness for their gay character: there was something more between them than only a working relationship?

Roger Peyrefitte, The Exile of Capri by Gregory Woods: with his essay on Roger Peyrefitte’s The Exile of Capri, Gregory Woods is giving us a window on a world that I know, being Italian and living in Italy, doesn’t exist no more. It’s strange but at the beginning of the XX century, people running away from queer scandals, landed in Italy, and specifically, in the South, searching for shelter, companionship and freedom. Many artists, aristocratics and writers had their home in Capri and Taormina, touristic places that have now the prestige of being “exclusive”. Intellectuals like Gregory Woods who researched and teaches gay cultural studies, went back in those places almost a century after, but I believe they didn’t find anything if not bittersweet ruins. I’m sure that what happened in the ’20 and ’30 of last century, and the following WWII had a lot to do with the disappearance of that society, but I don’t want to fall in the political trap. Enough to say that, if someone reads today The Exile of Capri, a novel about a real-life French aristocrat who loved younger men, the taint of pedophilia will ruin the book. And I’m not absolutely saying that pedophilia is right, it’s not, but at the beginning of the century, 1907, 15 years old were a completely different age from today.

Paul Reed, Longing by Bill Brent: again another author, Bill Brent, who is lovely mourning the death of a dear friend, Paul Reed, chosing one of his books, Longing for the Lost Library; but Bill Brent goes over the usual critical essay on a book and I think he does an overall disguisition on the body of works of Paul Reed and that word, Longing, that is not only the title of one book, but probably the pushing force behind Paul Reed’s desire of writing, and in a way, the definition of his life, longing for something and probably not reaching it. Paul Reed is yet another author who the AIDS plague stole to us, and as many of those authors, Paul Reed rushed to write it down his life, his essence, all of him, in his books; and after that, he gifted one of each to Bill Brent, maybe asking him to be remembered. And Bill Brent remembers.

Paul T. Rogers, Saul's Book by Paul Russell: when something as terrible as the fate of Paul T. Rogers, beaten to death by his own adopted son, happens, people wonder if you will read the book for its worth, or for the fate of its author. I think Paul Russell had not this issue, since, from what I understood, he bought the book before Rogers’ tragic death and he starts this essay explaining the importance of this book, its characters and setting, and only after, almost as an afterthought, he tells us what happened to Paul T. Rogers. Paul Russell is not magnanimous with the novel, he underlight its good and bad points, but in the end, he wanted for people to read it since it was an important step in his formative years.

Patrick Roscoe, Birthmarks by Andy Quan: Andy Quan had a literary crush for Patrick Roscoe, and maybe this is not the only reason why he chose Birthmarks for this essay or maybe it’s. In his essay, Andy Quan describes in a critical way the book, but the crush is always there, especially in the part when he wrote about his fascination for the author: “Crushes are about fantasy as much as anything and it helped that I was great at living in my head rather than trying to figure out the world as a young gay man. The book didn‘t have an author photo, but a newspaper interview I‘d seen at the time showed a darkly handsome, athletic man in a crouching pose, I believe. I think his arms were bare and he was possibly wearing only underwear. His expression and eyes were intense and I found him beautiful. Meanwhile, the interview and the book told of his work as a prostitute.” Of course I had to browse the internet for this beautiful man, and easily enough I found him (he has a website…): I have to say, Andy Quan, I agree with you, Patrick Roscoe is really a beautiful man. But more important than that, Patrick Roscoe was true to himself in Birthmarks, and many of the stories in it have an underline biographical meaning (not the least his work as a prostitute). As Andy Quan, I’m at the same time fascinated and horrified by the story “My Lover‘s Touch, where a young boy is imprisoned, kept slave, and beaten brutally, and as a young man searches for this same man who will make him feel this “love” again”, since I know that type of love exists and it’s at the same time, addictive and destructive.

Douglas Sadownick, Sacred Lips of the Bronx by Tom Cardamone: I can relate with Tom Cardamone and his quest to find sweet love amidst a pletora of books about sex; I can see the young Tom stubbornly refusing to read the adult years of the character in Sacred Lips of the Bronx since he wanted to remember him as the innocent gay teenager in love. And I can see an older version of Tom deciding that he was old enough (and I can smile at that image) to read that part and in the end, thinking, well, is that all? Tom Cardamone read something in Sacred Lips of the Bronx that the author wasn’t aware of, or maybe neither didn’t want to put in it; that is something that often happens to myself while reading a book. I secretly smile of that, like if I knew something the author didn’t know, and how presumptuous is this attitude, since, well, I’m not the author, how I can read something that the author didn’t write? And I’m smiling…

Glenway Wescott, The Apple of the Eye by Jerry Rosco: for once the author Jerry Rosco chose had a long and satysfing life, reaching all but the targets a young gay writer can dream of. So probably Jerry Rosco’s essay on Glenway Wescott’s first novel, The Apple of the Eye, is not as sad as some of the previous ones, but for me is the same fascinanting; I can imagine the life of this author, from rural America to old Europe and back to America, but this time the intellectual New York. I also sadly smiled when the author wrote that Glenway Wescott’s first apartment in NYC is still there: “He had moved east with Monroe Wheeler and was living in Greenwich Village in a front, secondfloor apartment at 17 Christopher Street. The building is still there, next to the Oscar Wilde Bookshop.” But unfortunately the Oscar Wilde Bookshop is no more. Jerry Rosco is not only an admirer of Glenway Wescott’s novels, he is also his biographer, and so this is not only a critical essay on a novel, it’s also a little insight on Glenway Wescott’s life, a privileged life.

George Whitmore, Nebraska by Victor Bumbalo: again an essay that has almost me in tear; Victor Bumbalo was George Whitmore’s friend and in his words, “I miss the brave books I‘m sure he would have written. But I miss his humor and his penetrating smile more. I miss his phone calls. The missing never stops”, I can really feel that he was a dear friend. Nevertheless, the essay he wrote is not a biased one, he critically comments Nebraska, he gives the readers reasons to go and find this book, and only after that he pays his homage to the friend, only after having paied his respect to the author. From his words, George Whitmore comes out alive and strong, a courage voice that AIDS has not silenced, at least not forever.

Donald Windham, Two People by Philip Gambon: Donald Windham had the luck, but also the bad luck, to be Tennessee Williams’ friend, and so the greatness of Tennessee Williams obscured the gentle writing of Donald Windham. Philip Gambon himself admits that he first happened to know about Donald Windham only for his relationship with Tennessee Williams, and even the first time he bought one of Donald Windham’s books was since he remembered the connection with the other author. But far from the other author, if you give the time and the space to Donald Windham’s voice to speak, he has his own personality, maybe not glossy and glorious like Tennessee Williams, but still an important voice to nor forget or identify only as Tennessee Williams’ friend.

Come Again: A History of the Reprinting of Gay Novels by Philip Clark: Philip Clark’s final essay on reprinting of gay novels is a statement of the importance of indie publishers. I happen to agree, sometime those indie pubs are the only reason why I buy printed books; I have more than 3.000 printed books and I live in a very small house, so I cannot really buy all the books I want. But it’s not a question of money, I would be willing to spend them to buy an original ebook. So to close this long, long post my suggestion goes to those indie pubs: why don’t you consider to publish these books in ebook if it’s too expensive to publish them in print? I would be there, first in line to buy them.


Amazon: The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered

Reading List:


Cover Art by Mel Odom
Tags: author: aaron hamburger, author: agustin gomez-arcos, author: allen barnett, author: andy quan, author: bill brent, author: bruce benderson, author: charles nelson, author: christopher bram, author: christopher coe, author: daniel curzon, author: donald windham, author: douglas sadownick, author: george baxt, author: george whitmore, author: glenway wescott, author: gregory woods, author: ian rafael titus, author: j.s. marcus, author: james mccourt, author: jameson currier, author: jerry rosco, author: jesse monteagudo, author: jim marks, author: john donovan, author: john gilgun, author: jonathan harper, author: kyle onstott, author: lance horner, author: larry duplechan, author: lynn hall, author: mark merlis, author: martin wilson, author: melvin dixon, author: michael graves, author: michael grumley, author: neil bartlett, author: patrick roscoe, author: paul reed, author: paul russell, author: paul t. rogers, author: philip clark, author: philip gambone, author: rabih alameddine, author: richard hall, author: richard reitsma, author: rick whitaker, author: rob stephenson, author: robert ferro, author: roger peyrefitte, author: sam j. miller, author: sean meriwether, author: stephen greco, author: timothy young, author: tom cardamone, author: victor bumbalo, author: wayne courtois, editor: tom cardamone, essayist: michael bronski, length: novel

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