1000 Novels Everyone Must Read… Is There Gay Content?

I waited to see today’s issue in the series before I blogged as was secretly hoping that, like in the first volume of The Guardians ‘1000 Novels Everyone Must Read’ series which was love stories, they would have a section devoted to gay reads. They didn’t sadly and yet thinking about it Stella Duffy, Val McDermid and Christopher Fowler have all written great crime novels and so too has James Lear with lashings of saucepot antics. So why weren’t we included especially in Crime. Patricia’s Cornwall and Highsmith were though.

So the Love issue… Gay fiction got its own feature in there by Jackie Kay. She was sent to look for the great gay love stories of all time, I have to say I didn’t think she would have much luck but I was wrong. She admitted that she had concentrated on the earlier works that she herself had loved reading. These were;

The Well of Loneliness – Radclyffe Hall
Patience & Sarah – Isabel Miller
Zami – Audre Lorde
Nightworld – Djuna Barnes
Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin
Rubyfruit Jungle – Rita Mae Brown

I had only read James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room which sadly I personally hated with an absolute passion (though will re-evaluate later in the year) the others I had not heard of before so that’s been great for my ever growing list of ‘got to reads’. I was surprised that there didn’t seem any gay male love stories mentioned, though The Swimming Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst was mentioned alone, I thought there might have been a mention of Felice Picano maybe. I also would have thought Tipping The Velvet by Sarah Waters (Fingersmith was in ‘crime’ and The Night Watch in ‘love’) or Patricia Highsmith’s novel Carol. Then again I wasn’t asked to write the piece was I? Ha!

If you would like to see the piece in full then go here http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/jan/17/1000-novels-gay-lesbian-fiction I found it really insightful and interesting in terms of history and the fact I like Jackie Kay’s tone throughout. As for the crime I will put a review up from my other blog tomorrow which is from one of my favourite crime series by an author not mentioned at all today by me or by The Guardian… I shall leave you guessing!

~ by greatgayreads on January 18, 2009.

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