Donovan wrote four other novels dealing with characters suffering from loss and loneliness. The oddest of these is Remove Plastic Coating A Little At a Time from 1973. This is a short novel at about 90 pages and concerns the relationship between a young teenager named Harry and a 72 year old homeless lady who is squatting in an abandoned apartment building. Again, sexuality is presented here in a matter of fact manner with Harry's friends casually inviting him to X-rated movies and the like.
Harry feels isolated from his peers and his parents. Living in New York, Harry's parents are having relationship problems and his mother is suffering from depression. His isolation from his family contributes to him meeting Amelia, an eccentric bag lady, in the park. She presents him with an alternative view of life that he admires over what he sees from others in his middle class upbringing. The relationship allows him to feel emotional and bring him into a world of meaningful communication.
His other books include Wild In the World (1971), Good Old James (1974) and Family (1976).
Published in 1969 — the year of the Stonewall Riots — John Donovan‘s I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip. was the first Young Adult novel to deal with homosexuality. Ushered into print by the legendary children‘s book editor Ursula Nordstrom (she has been called the Maxwell Perkins of children‘s literature), the novel is an honest, sensitive, funny, sharply written, and very moving coming-of-age novel narrated by a 13-year-old boy who is, most likely, gay.Further Readings:
It‘s a subtle and honest story told by an appealing and confused young man. Again, remember that this novel was published in 1969, just as gays were becoming more visible in this country, standing up for their rights, refusing to be invisible. Donovan‘s book, in that light, is remarkable and daring. But now, with gays more visible in ―mainstream culture‖ than ever before, it is even more remarkable that this eloquent novel still rings true as a portrait of a young gay man, inching toward adulthood, searching for his place in the world. I like to think that Davy got there — and that it was worth the trip. --The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered
I'll Get There. It Better Be Worth The Trip.: 40th Anniversary Edition by John Donovan
Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Paperback: 228 pages
Publisher: Flux; 40 Anv edition (September 8, 2010)
Amazon: I'll Get There. It Better Be Worth The Trip.: 40th Anniversary Edition
The 40th anniversary edition of a groundbreaking teen classic
When the grandmother who raised him dies, Davy Ross, a lonely thirteen-year-old boy, must move to Manhattan to live with his estranged mother. Between alcohol-infused lectures about her self-sacrifice and awkward visits with his distant father, Davy’s only comfort is his beloved dachshund Fred. Things start to look up when he and a boy from school become friends. But when their relationship takes an unexpected turn, Davy struggles to understand what happened and what it might mean.
“Shattering… frank… intelligent.”—Horn Book
“This book… should be available wherever young people read.”—New York Times
“Sophisticated… remarkably touching.” —Time magazine
New York Times Best of 1969 Book List
School Library Journal Best of 1969 Book List
This anniversary edition features reflections from Brent Hartinger (Geography Club), Martin Wilson (What They Always Tell Us), and Kathleen T. Horning (Director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center), with a foreword by Stacey Donovan (Dive).
The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered by Tom Cardamone
Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: Haiduk Press (March 1, 2010)
Amazon: The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered
The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered, edited by Tom Cardamone, includes appreciations by 28 contemporary writers of significant gay novels and short story collections now out of print. The Lost Library includes an essay on reprints of gay literature by Philip Clark. Published in March 2010, it features a cover illustration by Mel Odom.
The Lost Library won the San Francisco Book Festival's gay category for best book of the Spring season and was named one of the 10 Best nonfiction books of 2010 in Richard Labonté's Book Marks column.
More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics
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