Writing Desire: Sixty Years of Gay Autobiography

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Exploring nearly sixty years of memoir and autobiography, Writing Desire examines the changing identity of gay men writing within a historical context. Distinguished scholar and psychoanalyst Bertram J. Cohler has carefully selected a diverse group of ten men, including historians, activists, journalists, poets, performance artists, and bloggers, whose life writing evokes the evolution of gay life in twentieth-century America. A compelling mix of social history and personal biography, Writing Desire distills the experience of three generations of gay America.

About the Author:
Bertram J. Cohler is the William Rainey Harper Professor of Social Sciences at the University of Chicago

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With his customary insight and command of scholarship, Cohler has written a remarkable account of how social and historical context shapes the meanings people make of their lives. His book illuminates the challenges of successive generations of gay men and also explores more broadly how people experience, understand, and write about their lives. Empathic and analytic, it is also a gripping read."—Ruthellen Josselson, author of The Space between Us: Exploring the Dimensions of Human Relationships

"A fascinating exploration of how time and place have shaped both the writing and the reading of six generations of gay men's life stories."—Henry L. Minton, author of Departing from Deviance: A History of Homosexual Rights and Emancipatory Science in America

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299222048
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Series: Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Bertram J. Cohler is the William Rainey Harper Professor of Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. Cohler has published widely on gay life in America and is coauthor of The Course of Gay and Lesbian Lives: Social and Psychoanalytic Perspectives.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments     ix
Life Writing about Gay Desire     3
Born in the Thirties: Coming of Age in the Fifties     25
Born in the Forties: Finding a Voice     64
Born in the Fifties: The Gay Revolution     103
Born in the Sixties: Living Easier with Homosexuality     135
Born in the Seventies and Eighties: Postmodern Memoirs     158
Conclusion     215
Bibliography     227
Index     241
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