Novel Ideas in a Static Landscape
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Published in: January-February 2009 issue.


Gay Male Fiction Gay Male Fiction Since Stonewall: Ideology, Conflict, and Aesthetics
by Les Brookes
Routledge. 230 pages, $95.


GAY MALE FICTION Since Stonewall is that rare creature, a new study of contemporary gay writing—in this case, of the male fictional tradition. If anything can be said to characterize the trajectory of this particular form, it is change—indeed, the speed of change. This is particularly evident in the 1960’s, which saw further examples of the gay-character-comes-to-a-bad-end variety—familiar by way of Gore Vidal’s The City and the Pillar or James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room—but equally saw some remarkably frank, psychologically different novels—by William Burroughs, Christopher Isherwood, and Sanford Friedman (the neglected Totempole from 1965, not considered here).

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