The Violet Hour: The Violet Quill and the Making of Gay Culture

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The members of the literary circle known as the Violet Quill -- Andrew Holleran, Felice Picano, Edmund White, Christopher Cox, Michael Grumley, Robert Ferro, and George Whitmore -- collectively represent the aspirations and the achievement of gay writing during and after the gay liberation movement. David Bergman's social history shows how the works of these authors reflected, advanced, and criticized the values, principles, and prejudices of the culture of gay liberation. In spinning many of the most important ...

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Overview

The members of the literary circle known as the Violet Quill -- Andrew Holleran, Felice Picano, Edmund White, Christopher Cox, Michael Grumley, Robert Ferro, and George Whitmore -- collectively represent the aspirations and the achievement of gay writing during and after the gay liberation movement. David Bergman's social history shows how the works of these authors reflected, advanced, and criticized the values, principles, and prejudices of the culture of gay liberation. In spinning many of the most important stories gay men told of themselves in the short period between the 1969 Stonewall Riots and the devastation of the AIDS epidemic during the 1980s, the Violet Quill exerted an enormous influence on gay culture. The death toll of the AIDS epidemic, including four of the Violet Quill's seven members, has made putting such recent events into a historical context all the more important and difficult. The work of the Violet Quill expresses the joy, suffering, grief, hope, activism, and caregiving of their generation. The Violet Hour meets the urgent need for a history of the men who bore witness not only to the birth but also to the decimation of a culture.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

The Journal of American History - Gary L. Atkins

It is a notable and worthy contribution to gay history and literary analysis.

American Literature - Arthur L. Little

[Bergman] is extremely well-versed...and his study should prove a rich source.

Journal of the History of Sexuality - Sean O'Toole

A perceptive and heartfelt study.

The Journal of American History
It is a notable and worthy contribution to gay history and literary analysis.

— Gary L. Atkins, Seattle University

American Literature
[Bergman] is extremely well-versed...and his study should prove a rich source.

— Arthur L. Little, Jr.

Journal of the History of Sexuality
A perceptive and heartfelt study.

— Sean O'Toole

South Atlantic Review

The Violet Hour is a valuable resource and an entertaining read.

Gay Life - Mark Panos

Only a scholarly expert in gay literature and cultural history could produce a book as comprehensive, compelling and informative as The Violet Hour. Yet Bergman avoids pedantry entirely, making his work as much of a treat to read as any of the best writings of men he is writing about.

The Independent Gay Writer - Gene Hayworth

Bergman's book is an interesting mix of literary scholarship and personal memoir.

The Gay & Lesbian Review - Martha E. Stone

a readable page-turner...a fascinating group biography

Gay Life
Only a scholarly expert in gay literature and cultural history could produce a book as comprehensive, compelling and informative as The Violet Hour. Yet Bergman avoids pedantry entirely, making his work as much of a treat to read as any of the best writings of men he is writing about.

— Mark Panos

Out Magazine

The Violet Hour by David Bergman explores the aspirations and achievements of the gay writers known collectively as the Violet Quill.

The Independent Gay Writer
Bergman's book is an interesting mix of literary scholarship and personal memoir.

— Gene Hayworth

The Gay & Lesbian Review
a readable page-turner...a fascinating group biography

— Martha E. Stone

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Product Details

Meet the Author

David Bergman is professor of English at Towson University. The editor of The Violet Quill Reader, he has won awards for his collection of poems, Cracking the Code, his book Gaiety Transfigured: Self-Representation in Gay American Literature, and for editing the anthology Men on Men 2000.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

These Shrieking VioletsGay Writing Before the Violet QuillTwo JourneysRace and the Violet QuillBeauty and the BeachLove and SexAIDS

Columbia University Press

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