Where To Start… The Big Gay Read

Ok so looking at this logically how long have books been being written until now, ok change that how long have books that included gay themes or gay people been being written? Obviously I don’t know the actual answer but we are looking at well over a hundred years. So where do you start?

I decided to go with the aforementioned The Big Gay Read and see what made it into the top ten. From there I was pretty sure that an array of books would meet my eyes that would lead me on the path to getting some pretty good ideas of what to start reading first, who published what and contact them. So the top ten as it stood in 2006 was…

1. Tales of the City – Armistead Maupin
2. Tipping The Velvet – Sarah Waters
3. Oranges Are The Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson
4. Trumpet – Jackie Kay
= 5. Fingersmith – Sarah Waters
= 5. Calendar Girl – Stella Duffy
= 5. The Long Firm – Jake Arnott
6. At Swim, Two Boys – Jamie O’Neill
7. Brokeback Mountain – Annie Proulx
8. The Line Of Beauty – Alan Hollinghurst
9. Carol – Patricia Highsmith
= 10. Rubyfruit Jungle – Rita Mae Brown
= 10. Desert of the Heart – Jane Rule
= 10. Rough Music – Patrick Gale
= 10. Crocodile Soup – Julia Darling

From this list (and as a big book buyer) I knew of twelve, had read five, had tried and failed to read two, had never heard of two but was willing to read them all again. What I was shocked about was no sign of ‘Maurice’ by E.M. Forster and no Edmund White on the list people that I had read or wanted to read when I was a younger man growing up gay and wanting to read fiction that I felt I connected to.

On the site you can see other people’s additions (some was pleased to see and some excited to learn more about) and I am now forming quite the list. Am off now to do some more research via Amazon and Afterelton.com so shall keep this brief!


~ by greatgayreads on January 4, 2009.

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