Gay topics have been central to most national literary traditions, whether in fiction, memoir, drama, or verse. Yet “crossover” success stories are remarkably few, as are works of literature about gay subjects, written by heterosexual authors. Furthermore, openly gay-themed books tend to get passed over in favor of works more evidently addressing “universal” or “mainstream” concerns. No longer: Here's the book that cues you in to the essential titles in the gay and lesbian literary canon.
Edited by Richard Canning, with a foreword from renowned literary critic Harold Bloom, this volume contains fifty succinct essays by critics, public figures, and authors. They illuminate works by fifty men and women that everybody should read.
Canning tackles important themes, issues of regional and cultural diversity, political aspects, and analyses of that old chestnut: What makes a work of literature gay or lesbian? Don’t expect a definitive answer. Do expect to learn why these titles are must-reads.
Rearrange your shelves, book-club lists, and expectations. Whether your preference is for Ginsberg or Woolf or Melville, this is one volume no bookworm—straight or gay—should miss out on.