The thread about Michael Cunningham's loo got me to thinking about some of my favorite books that were written by gay/lesbian authors, or about LGBT themes.
Literate bitches unite! Let's hear your likes (and of course your dislikes too).
Fell in love with the classic Baldwin, Giovanni's Room when I was a teenager. I recently loved Julia Glass's Three Junes.
I read Cunningham but was underwhelmed by him. Flesh and Blood was my favorite.
I definitely loved David Leavitt's books. And Christopher Bram's books, at least the first few. "Hold Tight" was a great period romance.
I remember thinking Ethan Mordden's "How Long Has This Been Going On?" was a more emotionally resonant version of Tales of the City. (And I do love the Tales books and sequels, though I have mixed feelings on the author himself.)
I loved "The God In Flight" which was a very Victorian take on a gay romance - written, shockingly, by a woman.
And the most recent book I loved was "At Swim, Two Boys."
I have to admit, I've been bad about reading fiction in the last 5 years or so. Have to read too much non-fiction for work.
I've liked all of Andrew Holleran's books, the ones I've read, which I think is most, but not all of them.
Also, Jim Grimsley and K. M. Soehnlein (link below).
Richard Stevenson's Donald Strachey series of books about a gay PI are (mostly) great.
The one author I really remember disliking was Felice Picano.
The books I tried to read of his were all characters cataloguing their tricks and places they were seen: "I fucked this hot guy, who was [fill in a way to say 'not gay acting' here] and then we went to this fabulous party...."
R6, I didn't like Felice Picano, for much the same reason, until I read "Like People in History," which is a book I often recommend. It has survived every book purge I've had since I first read it in 1995 or so.
That was the one that I hated R7! No disrespect to you, it just didn't work for me.
Gore Vidal's The City and the Pillar. And, the movie may have tarnished its reputations, but Myra Breckinridge is a great book. Scathing at times.
Manuel Puig's Kiss of the Spider Woman.
Loved Tipping the Velvet. Despise anything by the trashy Rita Mae Brown, who had the nerve to compare herself to Flaubert.
are there any fantasy/YA style books with gay characters?
A single man by Christopher Isherwood. Loved the film as well.
Rita Mae Brown is DEFINITELY not Flaubert but I loved the heartfelt bitchery of Sudden Death.
Baby Jesus (the cat, not the other one)
At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill is a contemporary wonder. If the title is off-putting, you just don't get the allusion.
Middlesex is a decent read by the famed Jeffrey Eugenides. Less gay than it is a look at the spectrum of gender and sexuality. An ode to the Greeks, too.
There's a special place in my heart for Emma Donoghue, author of Life Mask and Stir Fry.
Hey R12, if you like Isherwood, you also might want to read his buddy John Lehmann, who was also part owner of Hogarth Press. Lehmann write volumes of memoirs, especially about his time in 1930s Germany and gay culture there.
Thanks R15 for your advice.
As Meat Loves Salt is excellent.
I second The Line of Beauty. The scene with Thatcher is one of the funniest things ever written and the end is just so poignant. Hollinghurst's The Swimming Pool Library is also excellent.
Nothing but Top 40 Oldies so far.
R17, I liked As Meat Loves Salt, too.
Do you have anyone new to post about, R19?
I'm a fan of Stephen Mccauley's books featuring homo main characters, the most well known of which was "The Object of My Affection" made into a movie starring Jennifer Anniston and Paul Rudd (I think).
from the last book thread, someone recommended Justin Torres' "we the animals" - was fantastic!
William Benemann has a new book out call Men in Eden. It is a biography of William Drummond Stewart, an early fur trader in Western America. He had many intimate relations with other men.
Lots, anything by Michael Cunningham,Paul Monette, Bart Yates, Michael Thomas Ford, just to name a few
I've been trying to finish Al Parker's biography, Clone, but I just keep thinking that while the sexual anecdotes are fun to read about, he died young and he didn't really accomplish too much. I enjoy watching and re-watching his porn films, but his life just wasn't all that interesting.
The younglings might not understand or appreciate, but Ethan Mordden' s Buddies series (particularly Buddies) documents and captures the Glory Days of gay, unfortunately a bygone era. I LOVE those books!
Really loved At Swim, Two Boys, too.
I just finished Jeffrey Sharlach's "Running in Bed" which is an entertaining and ultimately, heartbreaking, look at gay life in New York in the 70s and 80s. Very vivid.
Some of my favorites:
"Maurice" by E. M. Forster
"Goodbye to Berlin" by Christopher Isherwood
"Orlando" by Virginia Woolf
"Billy Budd" by Herman Melville
"Giovanni's Room" by James Baldwin
"Brideshead Revisited" by Evelyn Waugh
NOT OFFICIALLY CLASSICS, BUT SHOULD BE OR WILL BE:
"Summer Will Show" by Sylvia Townsend Warner (the greatest lesbian novel ever written, IMO)
"The Price of Salt" by Patricia Highsmith (the second greatest lesbian novel ever written)
"Victorine" by Maude Hutchins
"Belchamber" by Howard Sturgis
"The Swimming Pool Library" by Alan Hollinghurst
"The Bell" by iris Murdoch
"At Swim, Two Boys" by Jamie O'Neill
"As Meat Loves Salt" by Maria McCann
Mary Renault, "The Charioteer."
Harriet the Spy is kid lit's most iconic baby dyke