Lost Gay Novels: A Reference Guide to Fifty Works from the First Half of the Twentieth Century

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2003 Hardcover 8vo, hardcover. No dj, as issued. New. Bright, crisp & clean, unread; covers glossy. ix, 204 p.

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Overview

Searching for an introduction to the shadowy, intriguing world of early 20th century gay-themed fiction?

In Lost Gay Novels, respected pop culture historian Anthony Slide resurrects fifty early 20th century American novels with gay themes or characters and discusses them in carefully researched, engaging prose. Each entry offers you a detailed discussion of plot and characters, a summary of contemporary critical reception, and biographical information on the often-obscure writer. In Lost Gay Novels, another aspect of gay life and society is, in the words the author, "uncloseted," providing you with an absorbing glimpse into the world of these nearly forgotten books.

Lost Gay Novels gives you an introduction to:

  • authors who aren't usually associated with homosexuality, including John Buchan, James M. Cain, and Rex Stout
  • the history of gay publishing in the US and abroad
  • gay themes in novels published between 1917 and 1950—with entries from nearly every year!
  • the ways in which the popular culture of the time shaped the authors' attitudes toward homosexuality
  • the difficulty of finding detailed biographical information on little-known authors
If you're interested in gay studies or history, or even if you're just looking for a comprehensive guide to titles you've probably never heard of before, Lost Gay Novels will be a welcome addition to your collection. The introduction from author Slide—called by the Los Angeles Times "a one-man publishing phenomenon"—provides you with an overview to the basics of this landmark collection. Themes found in many of the titles include death, secrecy, and living a double life, and in reading the entries you will discover just why these themes are so common.

As Slide says in his introduction: "The approach of the novelist toward homosexuality may not always be a positive one… but the works are important to an understanding of contemporary attitudes toward gay men and gay society." Lost Gay Novels will help you further your own understanding of the dynamic relationship between literature and culture, and you will finish the book with a greater appreciation of modern American gay fiction.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In his introduction, respected pop culture historian Slide defines lost novels as "novels that are not generally known to modern audiences." Here he resurrects 50 novels from the early part of the 20th century (1916 to 1950) that include gay themes or characters and discusses them at great length. For each novel (arranged alphabetically by author), he provides a plot summary and his own appraisal, in addition to indicating contemporary reception. Some of these have been truly lost to the canon (e.g., Isabel Bolton's The Christmas Tree, Vance Bourjaily's The End of My Life), while others have been part of scholarly discourse at least (James Barr's Quatrefoil, Andr Tellier's Twilight Men). Although the author himself admits that most of those novels are "second-rate" literature, they nevertheless sound fascinating, even if only as period pieces, and a large number focuses on the tragic aspects of gay life. As an introduction to a selection of very interesting novels, this work is quite enjoyable, but it would need to be a much larger book to justify the subtitle's claim that it is "a Reference Guide."-David Azzolina, Univ. of Pennsylvania Libs, Philadelphia Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560234135
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Pages: 218
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • James Barr, Quatrefoil
  • Larry Barretto, The Great Light
  • Stuart Benton, All Things Human
  • Alvah Bessie, Dwell in the Wilderness
  • André Birabeau, Revelation
  • Isabel Bolton, The Christmas Tree
  • Vance Bourjaily, The End of My Life
  • Kay Boyle, Gentlemen, I Address You Privately
  • Myron Brinig, This Man Is My Brother
  • Richard Brooks, The Brick Foxhole
  • John Buchan, Greenmantle
  • John Horne Burns, The Gallery
  • James M. Cain, Serenade
  • Clarkson Crane, The Western Shore
  • Hubert Creekmore, The Welcome
  • George Davis, The Opening of a Door
  • Michael de forrest, The Gay Year
  • Harrison Dowd, The Night Air
  • George Eekhoud, A Strange Love: A Novel of Abnormal Passion
  • Stuart Engstrand, The Sling and the Arrow
  • John Evans, Shadows Flying
  • Waldo Frank, The Dark Mother
  • Ernest Frost, The Dark Peninsula
  • Henry Blake Fuller, Bertram Cope's Year
  • Richard Hull, The Murder of My Aunt
  • Charles Jackson, The Fall of Valor
  • Nial Kent, The Divided Path
  • Lew Levenson, Butterfly Man
  • Jean Lyttle, Sheila Lacey
  • Harlan Cozad McIntosh, This Fine Shadow
  • Compton Mackenzie, Vestal Fire
  • William Maxwell, The Folded Leaf
  • Richard Meeker, Better Angel
  • Ernest Milton, To Kiss the Crocodile
  • Willard Motley, Knock on Any Door
  • Blair Niles, Strange Brother
  • Eugene O'Brien, He Swung and He Missed
  • Elliot Paul, Concert Pitch
  • Thomas Hal Phillips, The Bitterweed Path
  • Mary Renault, Promise of Love
  • Janet Schane, The Dazzling Crystal
  • Rex Stout, Forest Fire
  • L.A.G. Strong (Leonard Alfred George), The Last Enemy: A Study of Youth
  • André Tellier, Twilight Men
  • Ward Thomas, Stranger in the Land
  • Loren Wahl, The Invisible Glass
  • Sylvia Townsend Warner, Mr. Fortune's Maggot
  • Denton Welch, Maiden Voyage
  • Calder Willingham, End as a Man
  • J. (John) Keith Winter, Other Man's Saucer
  • Appendix. Titles in Chronological Order
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2003

    Lost and Found

    W.H. Auden said that no book was undeservedly remembered, but many regrettably forgotten. This is particularly the case with novels published before the 1970s dealing with homosexual themes and characters. The stigma attached to homosexual people and relationships made such novels scandalous and their authors marginalized. As a result, many common readers will assume that gay novels did not exist before the gay liberation movement in the late 1960s. Not so, as Anthony Slide's book reminds us. A labor of love and careful scholarship (including summaries of the novels' plots and their critical reception), Slide's _Lost Gay Novels_ is both interesting reading as well as a useful reference work. Students and scholars of American literature will be grateful to Slide for his gathering this rich history. College and university libraries, as well as local libraries, will find this a valuable addition to their reference sections. General readers will be fascinated with this social history and engaged by Slide's accessible (jargon-free) and witty prose.

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