Any gay literature come to mind that feels epic to you? I haven't read anything in so long and for some reason feel like this is what I want.
Any ideas? I read most of Edmund White's,Ethan Mordden's and Armistead Maupin's works a long time ago. Anything similar to Maupin, I probably would not like. Too silly and far-fetched and not that funny to me at least.
I think Hollinghurst can be pretty epic, especially The Line of Beauty.
As Meat Loves Salt
At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill
What do you mean by "epic," OP?
Do we like LIKE PEOPLE IN HISTORY? I read it as a lonely gay teen in the Midwest and loved it then. Wonder how it would hold up now that I'm a 30 something gay New Yorker.
One good thing about it, when I finally got to Fire Island, it looked exactly how I imagined it while reading his book.
Read it a few years ago, r6, specifically because of Edmund White's blurb calling it "the gay GONE WITH THE WIND" (and I love GONE WITH THE WIND).
Found it un-involving, boring, and extremely heavy-handed.
 I'm not that literate especially since the advent of the internet! By epic I mean a story that spans over a long period of time, that may have many inter-related characters. Probably more episodic in nature.
Would really love to find something that covers the lives of gay men throughout the 20th century in the US.
Does this make more sense?
Well, then maybe try LIKE PEOPLE IN HISTORY. it does cover the lives of two gay cousins from the 50s to the 90s I think, though its not without its problems (see r7)
Yes, I see what you mean now, OP/r8.
I'd recommend Felice Picano's LIKE PEOPLE IN HISTORY which r6 mentions. That's probably the closest to what you'd like.
Picano is not a particularly good writer, Violet Quill aside--he has written too many pot-boilers along the way and they have made his attempts at serious art read like Michener (who can be fun, but no one would really put in the pantheon of great writers of historical fiction).
I don't think we have any gay American epics yet--though a great novel that spans pre-Stonewall through the AIDS epidemic and beyond would be exciting. Maybe Ross Matthews can write it.
Oh, and another along the same lines you'd like, OP: How Long Has This Been Going On? by Ethan Mordden.
Michael Cunningham's novels are pretty epic. And pretty contrived as well.
When might we expect Larry Kramer's opus?
The Golden Age of Promiscuity by Brad Gooch
THE CATCH TRAP by Marion Zimmerman Bradley.
OP here, Forgot to thank everyone in advance. I will research these titles and those yet to be posted.
The City and The Pillar by Gore Vidal
Andre Gide, "The Counterfeiters"
Mary Renault, "The Persian Boy"
"Creation" by Gore Vidal is perhaps more of an epic if less gay
The Year of Ice by Brian Malloy
Lust by Geoff Ryman
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon is very good.
I second the shouts for:
1)"At Swim, Two Boys"
First Love/Teenage Love/tragic Love
2) "The Persian Boy"
Wasn't "Alexander" heavily influenced by this novel? I remember Oliver Stone talking about the Persian Boy during the press tour of Alexander. Actually I always thought he wanted to make Alexander as close to the Persian Boy as possible. I just wonder why he never just went ahead and make this a movie. Of course, money wise it was impossible.
As Meat Loves Salt
Never got this story the first time a read it. I was like what? Sorry me so stupid. :o
Anyway OP, if you want Epic(apart from the above mentioned)
A war love gay story with an actual happy ending. Is by the same author as The Persian Boy so you know it's a quality novel.
"While England Sleeps" (Davit Leavitt)
Another epic war gay love story.
Obviously the 1987 film with James Wilby and Rupert Graves could be used as a reference.
Has anyone read The Vintner's Luck? From what I read it's about an affair between a human and an Angel. Is it any good?
I'm now reading How Long Has This Been Going On? by Ethan Mordden after reading about it in this thread. It's got a lot of characters whose lives may or may not intersect (I'm only up to p. 100 or so) over the course of time. It starts just after WWII, then jumps to the 1950s, then the 1960s, so it's very definitely got "epic" in mind.
Very highly recommended.
Hollinghurst's "The Stranger's Child" is epic, in that it's British, covers a long period of time, and the deceased poet that threads through all the stories over the 20th century was (spoiler!) gay.
It's very subdued and erudite, as critics have called it.
That was a good one, R24. I'd love to see it done on Mahstahpiece.
[quote]Hollinghurst's "The Stranger's Child" is epic, in that it's British,
"in that it's British"??? What?
I am baffled as to what some of you mean by "epic."
[quote]I am baffled as to what some of you mean by "epic."
To me it signifies a work that takes place over a longer period of time than most books, and contains more than just a couple of main characters.
Plays Well With Others by Allan Gurganus (who wrote Oldest Living Confederate Widow...) is a great read. It 'picks up' at the time that the narrator moves to New York, just as AIDS is beginning to make its presence felt. By turns funny and not, this novel tells the story of three artists (writer, composer, painter) struggling to make it in New York in the late 70s and early 80s. I've given it to a number of friends, all who had never heard of it, but thoroughly enjoyed it.
"in that it's British"
Oh, you know; boarding school, Oxford, crumbling estates, the occasional world war...
I just came across my copy of Mark Merlis' The Arrow's Flight, which is epic both in its theme and it the story that it tells. Also a very enjoyable read.
I loved At Swim Two Boys and While England Sleeps
The best one I've read has a really off-putting cover and topic... sad, because it's just an excellent book.
It's called "The Catch Trap" by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
It's a tear-jerker, rather epic in scope (follows a love affair across 40 or more years), and is just really well written.
Trans-themed, but gay and lesbian characters as well; set over a long period of time, and won a Pulitzer.
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