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100 Best Lesbian and Gay Novels

( The Publishing Triangle )



Rank:
34




Rank:
41




Rank:
5




The Counterfeiters
by André Gide

A young artist pursues a search for knowledge through the treatment of homosexuality and the collapse of morality in middle class France.
Call Number:
PQ2613.I2 C6

Rank:
61




Dancer from the Dance
by Andrew Holleran

9780060937065Andrew HolleranDancer from the DanceOne of the most important works of gay literature, this haunting, brilliant novel is a seriocomic remembrance of things past -- and still poignantly present. It depicts the adventures of Malone, a beautiful young man searching for love amid New York's emerging gay scene. From Manhattan's Everard Baths and after-hours discos to Fire Island's deserted parks and lavish orgies, Malone looks high and low for meaningful companionship. The person he finds is Sutherland, a campy quintessential queen -- and one of the most memorable literary creations of contemporary fiction. Hilarious, witty, and ultimately heartbreaking, Dancer from the Dance is truthful, provocative, outrageous fiction told in a voice as close to laughter as to tears. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3558 .O3496 D3 2001

Rank:
15




Rank:
10




The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
by Carson McCullers

9780618084746046442084741Carson McCullersThe Heart Is a Lonely HunterWith the publication of her first novel, THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER, Carson McCullers, all of twenty-three, became a literary sensation. With its profound sense of moral isolation and its compassionate glimpses into its characters' inner lives, the novel is considered McCullers' finest work, an enduring masterpiece first published by Houghton Mifflin in 1940. At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s. Each one yearns for escape from small town life. When Singer's mute companion goes insane, Singer moves into the Kelly house, where Mick Kelly, the book's heroine (and loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music. Wonderfully attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated -- and, through Mick Kelly, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty. Richard Wright praised Carson McCullers for her ability "to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness." She writes "with a sweep and certainty that are overwhelming," said the NEW YORK TIMES. McCullers became an overnight literary sensation, but her novel has endured, just as timely and powerful today as when it was first published. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER is Carson McCullers at her most compassionate, endearing best. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3525.A1772 H4 2000

Rank:
30




Rank:
21




Rank:
75




A Single Man
by Christopher Isherwood

Loss, Middle-aged men, Gay men, Grief, Pscyhological Fiction
Call Number:
PR6017.S5 S5 2001

Rank:
33




Rank:
53




Rank:
42




Nightwood
by Djuna Barnes

9780811216715Djuna Barnes; Jeanette Winterson (Preface by); T. S. Eliot (Introduction by)NightwoodNightwood, Djuna Barnes' strange and sinuous tour de force, "belongs to that small class of books that somehow reflect a time or an epoch" (Times Literary Supplement). That time is the period between the two World Wars, and Barnes' novel unfolds in the decadent shadows of Europe's great cities, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna--a world in which the boundaries of class, religion, and sexuality are bold but surprisingly porous.The outsized characters who inhabit this world are some of the most memorable in all of fiction--there is Guido Volkbein, the Wandering Jew and son of a self-proclaimed baron; Robin Vote, the American expatriate who marries him and then engages in a series of affairs, first with Nora Flood and then with Jenny Petherbridge, driving all of her lovers to distraction with her passion for wandering alone in the night; and there is Dr. Matthew-Mighty-Grain-of-Salt-Dante-O'Connor, a transvestite and ostensible gynecologist, whose digressive speeches brim with fury, keen insights, and surprising allusions. Barnes' depiction of these characters and their relationships (Nora says, "A man is another persona woman is yourself, caught as you turn in panic; on her mouth you kiss your own") has made the novel a landmark of feminist and lesbian literature.Most striking of all is Barnes' unparalleled stylistic innovation, which led T. S. Eliot to proclaim the book "so good a novel that only sensibilities trained on poetry can wholly appreciate it." Now with a new preface by Jeanette Winterson, Nightwood still crackles with the same electric charge it had on its first publication in 1936. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3503.A614 N5

Rank:
12




Rank:
16




A Boy's Own Story
by Edmund White

9780375707407Edmund WhiteA Boy's Own StoryAn instant classic upon its original publication,A Boy's Own Storyis the first of Edmund White's highly acclaimed trilogy of autobiographical novels that brilliantly evoke a young man's coming of age and document American gay life through the last forty years. The nameless narrator in this deeply affecting work reminisces about growing up in the 1950s with emotionally aloof, divorced parents, an unrelenting sister, and the schoolmates who taunt him. He finds consolation in literature and his fantastic imagination. Eager to cultivate intimate, enduring friendships, he becomes aware of his yearning to be loved by men, and struggles with the guilt and shame of accepting who he is. Written with lyrical delicacy and extraordinary power,A Boy's Own Storyis a triumph. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3573.H463 B6 2000

Rank:
14




Brideshead Revisited
by Evelyn Waugh

9780316926270Evelyn WaughBrideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles RyderEvelyn Waugh's most celebrated novel is a memory drama about the intense entanglement of the narrator, Charles Ryder, with a great Anglo-Catholic family. Written during World War II, the novel mourns the passing of the aristocratic world Waugh knew in his youth and vividly recalls the sensuous plea-sures denied him by wartime austerities; in so doing it also provides a profound study of the conflict between the demands of religion and the desires of the flesh. At once romantic, sensuous, comic, and somber, "Brideshead Revisited" transcends Waugh's familiar satiric exploration of his cast of lords and ladies, Catholics and eccentrics, artists and misfits, revealing him to be an elegiac, lyrical novelist of the utmost feeling and lucidity. The edition reprinted here contains Waugh's revisions, made in 1959, and his preface to the revised edition. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PR6045.A97 B7 1979

Rank:
19




Rank:
25




Rank:
57




The City and the Pillar
by Gore Vidal

9781400030378Gore VidalThe City and the PillarA literary cause c#65533;l#65533;bre when first published more than fifty years ago, Gore Vidal's now-classic The City and the Pillar stands as a landmark novel of the gay experience. Jim, a handsome, all-American athlete, has always been shy around girls. But when he and his best friend, Bob, partake in "awful kid stuff," the experience forms Jim's ideal of spiritual completion. Defying his parents' expectations, Jim strikes out on his own, hoping to find Bob and rekindle their amorous friendship. Along the way he struggles with what he feels is his unique bond with Bob and with his persistent attraction to other men. Upon finally encountering Bob years later, the force of his hopes for a life together leads to a devastating climax. The first novel of its kind to appear on the American literary landscape, The City and the Pillar remains a forthright and uncompromising portrayal of sexual relationships between men. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3543.I26 C5 2003

Rank:
17




To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

9780061205699Harper LeeTo Kill a MockingbirdAt the age of eight, Scout Finch is an entrenched free-thinker. She can accept her father's warning that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird, because mockingbirds harm no one and give great pleasure. The benefits said to be gained from going to school and keeping her temper elude her. The place of this enchanting, intensely moving story is Maycomb, Alabama. The time is the Depression, but Scout and her brother, Jem, are seldom depressed. They have appalling gifts for entertaining themselves--appalling, that is, to almost everyone except their wise lawyer father, Atticus. Atticus is a man of unfaltering good will and humor, and partly because of this, the children become involved in some disturbing adult mysteries: fascinating Boo Radley, who never leaves his house; the terrible temper of Mrs. Dubose down the street; the fine distinctions that make the Finch family "quality"; the forces that cause the people of Maycomb to show compassion in one crisis and unreasoning cruelty in another. Also because Atticus is what he is, and because he lives where he does, he and his children are plunged into a conflict that indelibly marks their lives--and gives Scout some basis for thinking she knows just about as much about the world as she needs to. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3562.E353 T6

Rank:
67




The Bostonians
by Henry James

9780679733812Henry James; Alison Lurie (Introduction by); Library of America StaffThe BostoniansThis brilliant satire of the women's rights movement in America is the story of the ravishing inspirational speaker Verena Tarrant and the bitter struggle between two distant cousins who seek to control her. Will the privileged Boston feminist Olive Chancellor succeed in turning her beloved ward into a celebrated activist and lifetime companion? Or will Basil Ransom, a conservative southern lawyer, steal Verena's heart and remove her from the limelight? ""The Bostonians" has a vigor and blithe wit found nowhere else in James," writes A. S. Byatt in her Introduction. "It is about idealism in a democracy that is still recovering from a civil war bitterly fought for social ideals . . . Ýwritten¨ with a ferocious, precise, detailed--and wildly comic--realism." - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS2116 .B6 1991

Rank:
27




The Turn of the Screw
by Henry James

9780393959048Henry James; Robert Kimbrough (Editor); Deborah Esch; Joseph Warren (Editor); Jonathan WarrenThe Turn of the ScrewContexts includes twenty-six selections, from James's letters, notebooks, and other writings during the period 1863-1908, centering on the ghost story, the supernatural and, in particular, "my little book," The Turn of the Screw. Also reproduced are four paintings by Charles Demuth. The essays in Criticism span one hundred years, providing a rich array of perspectives on James and his story. Representing contemporary reactions are pieces by Henry Harland, John D. Barry, Oliver Elton, William Lyon Phelps, and Virginia Woolf. The section also includes landmark criticism by Harold Goddard, Edna Kenton, Edmund Wilson, Katherine Anne Porter, Robert B. Heilman, R. P. Blackmur, Maurice Blanchot, and Leon Edel. Recent, fresh approaches to James's work are presented by Tzvetan Todorov, Shoshana Felman, Henry Sussman, Bruce Robbins, Ned Lukacher, Paul B. Armstrong, and T. J. Lustig. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are included. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS2116 .T8 1999

Rank:
40




Billy Budd
by Herman Melville

9780940450240Herman Melville; Harrison Hayford (Editor)Melville: Pierre, Israel Potter, the Confidence-Man, the Piazza Tale, Uncollected Prose, Billy BuddForgoing the narratives of the sea that prevailed in his earlier works, Melville's later fiction contains some of the finest and many of his keenest and bleakest observations of life, not on the high seas, but at home in America. With the publication of this Library of America volume, the third of three volumes, all Melville's fiction has now been restored to print for the first time. Pierre; or, The Ambiguities , published in 1852 (the year after Moby-Dick ), moves between the idyllic Berkshire countryside and the nightmare landscape of early New York City. Its hero, a young American patrician trying to redeem the secret sins of his father, elopes to the city, discovers Bohemian life, attempts a literary epic, and struggles his way through incest, murder, and madness. Long a controversial work, it is Melville's darkest satire of American life and letters and one of his most powerful books. A pivotal work, both for Melville's career and for American literature, Pierre was followed by Israel Potter , the story of a veteran of the Revolution, victim of a thousand mischances, and a long-suffering exile in England. Along the way are memorable episodes of war and intrigue, with personal portraits of Benjamin Franklin, John Paul Jones, and George III. In the exploits of this touchingly optimistic soldier, Melville offers a scathing image of the collapse of revolutionary hopes. The Piazza Tales demonstrates Melville's dazzling mastery of many styles, including "The Encantadas," about nature's two faces--enchanting and horrific; the famous "Bartleby the Scrivener," about a Wall Street copyist who "would prefer not to"; and the enigmatic "Benito Cereno," about a credulous Yankee sea captain who stumbles into an intricately plotted mutiny aboard a disabled slave ship. The Confidence-Man , Melville's last published novel, is in many ways a forerunner of modernist American fiction. An extended meditation on faith, hope, and charity as these are manifested on board a Mississippi riverboat one April Fools' Day, it presents a menagerie of Americans buying and selling, borrowing and lending, believing and mistrusting, as they are carried toward the auction blocks of New Orleans. Many pieces never before collected are also included: the "Authentic Anecdotes of Old Zack" (burlesque sketches of Zachary Taylor's Mexican campaign), "Fragments from a Writing-Desk" (Melville's earliest surviving prose), reviews of Hawthorne, Parkman, and Cooper, and all the tales Melville published in magazines during the 1850s. Finally, there is the posthumously published masterpiece Billy Budd, Sailor , the haunting story of a beautiful, innocent sailor who is pressed into naval service, slandered, provoked to murder, and sacrificed to military justice. While encouraging questions for which there are no answers, it invites us to meditate on the conflicts central to all Melville's work: between freedom and fate, innocence and civilized corruption. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS2382 .M6

Rank:
13




Rank:
64




Rank:
24




Another Country
by James Baldwin

9781883011512James Baldwin; Toni Morrison (Editor)Baldwin - Early Novels and Stories: Go Tell It on the Mountain; Giovanni's Room; Another Country; Going to Meet the ManHere, in a Library of America volume edited by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, is the fiction that established James Baldwin's reputation as a writer who fused unblinking realism and rare verbal eloquence. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953), tells the story, rooted in Baldwin's own experience, of a preacher's son coming of age in 1930's Harlem. Ten years in the writing, its exploration of religious, sexual, and generational conflicts was described by Baldwin as "an attempt to exorcise something, to find out what happened to my father, what happened to all of us." Giovanni's Room (1956) is a searching, and in its day controversial, treatment of the tragic self-delusions of a young American expatriate at war with his own homosexuality. Another Country (1962), a wide-ranging exploration of America's racial and sexual boundaries, depicts the suicide of a gifted jazz musician and its ripple effect on those who knew him. Complex in structure and turbulent in mood, it is in many ways Baldwin's most ambitious novel. Going to Meet the Man (1965) collects Baldwin's short fiction, including the masterful "Sonny's Blues," the unforgettable portrait of a jazz musician struggling with drug addiction in which Baldwin came closest to defining his goal as a writer: "For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it must be heard. There isn't any other tale to tell, it's the only light we've got in all this darkness." - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3552.A45 A6 1998

Rank:
38




Rank:
2




Eustace Chisholm and the Works
by James Purdy

9780786715022James PurdyEustace Chisholm and the WorksA literary cult hero of major proportions, James Purdy's exquisitely surreal fiction--Tennessee Williams meets William S. Burroughs--has been populated for more than forty years by social outcasts living in crisis and longing for love. His acclaimed first novel, Malcolm (1959), won praise from writers as diverse as Dame Edith Sitwell, Dorothy Parker, and Gore Vidal, while his later works, from the award-winning In a Shallow Grave (1976) to Gertrude of Stony Island Avenue (1998), influenced new generations of authors. Eustace Chisholm and the Works, a 1967 novel that became a gay classic, is an especially outspoken book among the author's controversial body of work. Purdy recalls that Eustace Chisholm and the Works--named one of the Publishing Triangle's 100 Best Lesbian and Gay Novels of the 20th Century--outraged the New York literary establishment. More than breaking out of the pre-Stonewall closet, however, the book liberated its author and readers can be grateful for that. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3566.U7 E9

Rank:
46




The Holy Terrors (Les Enfants Terribles)
by Jean Cocteau

9780811200219Jean Cocteau; Rosamond Lehmann (Translator)The Holy Terrors - (Les Enfants Terribles)Written in a French style that long defied successful translation--Cocteau was always a poet no matter what we was writing--the book came into its own for English-language readers in 1955 when this translation was completed by Rosamund Lehmann. It is a masterpiece of the art of translation of which the Times Literary Supplement said: "It has the rare merit of reading as though it were an English original." Lehrmann was able to capture the essence of Cocteau's strange, necromantic imagination and to bring fully to life in English his story of a brother and sister, orphaned in adolescence, who build themselves a private world out of one shared room and their own unbridled fantasies. What started in games and laughter because for Paul and Elisabeth a drug too magical to resist. The crime which finally destroys them has the inevitability of Greek tragedy. Illustrated with twenty of Cocteau's own drawings. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PQ2605.O15 H6

Rank:
85




Rank:
3




Rank:
22




Rank:
69




Little Women
by Louisa May Alcott

The joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young ladies in nineteenth-century New England.
Call Number:
PS1016 2005

Rank:
43




Rank:
8




Rank:
4




Rank:
9




The Persian Boy
by Mary Renault

Alexander the Great, Kings and Rulers, Generals, Eunuchs, Greece, Macedonian Expansion, Biographical Fiction
Call Number:
PR6035.E55 P4 1988

Rank:
32




Rank:
95




Rank:
11




Rank:
7




Rank:
18




Rank:
45




Rank:
1




Rank:
26




Mrs. Dalloway
by Virginia Woolf

9780156628709Virginia Woolf; Maureen Howard (Foreword by)Mrs. Dalloway Direct and vivid in her account of Clarissa Dalloway's preparations for a party, Virginia Woolf explores the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman's life. In Mrs. Dalloway, the novel on which the movie The Hours was based, Virginia Woolf details Clarissa Dalloway's preparations for a party of which she is to be hostess, exploring the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman's life. The novel "contains some of the most beautiful, complex, incisive and idiosyncratic sentences ever written in English, and that alone would be reason enough to read it. It is one of the most moving, revolutionary artworks of the twentieth century" (Michael Cunningham). - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PR6045.O72 M7

Rank:
31




Orlando
by Virginia Woolf

Sex role - England, Women - England, Men - England, Fiction
Call Number:
PR6045.O72 O7

Rank:
6




Pale Fire
by Vladimir Nabokov

9780679410775Vladímir Nabokov; Richard Rorty (Introduction by)Pale FireThe urbane authority that Vladimir Nabokov brought to every word he ever wrote, and the ironic amusement he cultivated in response to being uprooted and politically exiled twice in his life, never found fuller expression than in Pale Fire published in 1962 after the critical and popular success of Lolita had made him an international literary figure. An ingeniously constructed parody of detective fiction and learned commentary, Pale Fire offers a cornucopia of deceptive pleasures, at the center of which is a 999-line poem written by the literary genius John Shade just before his death. Surrounding the poem is a foreword and commentary by the demented scholar Charles Kinbote, who interweaves adoring literary analysis with the fantastical tale of an assassin from the land of Zembla in pursuit of a deposed king. Brilliantly constructed and wildly inventive, this darkly witty novel of suspense, literary one-upmanship, and political intrigue achieves that rarest of things in literature-perfect tragicomic balance. With an introduction by Richard Rorty. (Book Jacket Status: Jacketed) - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3527.A15 P3

Rank:
60




Death Comes for the Archbishop
by Willa Cather

9780679728894Willa CatherDeath Comes for the ArchbishopWilla Cather's best known novel is an epic--almost mythic--story of a single human life lived simply in the silence of the southwestern desert. In 1851 Father Jean Marie Latour comes to serve as the Apostolic Vicar to New Mexico. What he finds is a vast territory of red hills and tortuous arroyos, American by law but Mexican and Indian in custom and belief. In the almost forty years that follow, Latour spreads his faith in the only way he knows--gently, all the while contending with an unforgiving landscape, derelict and sometimes openly rebellious priests, and his own loneliness. Out of these events, Cather gives us an indelible vision of life unfolding in a place where time itself seems suspended. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3505.A87 D4

Rank:
66




Naked Lunch
by William Burroughs

9780802140180William S. Burroughs; Barry Miles (Editor); James Grauerholz (Editor)Naked Lunch: The Restored TextSince its original publication in Paris in 1959, Naked Lunch has become one of the most important novels of the twentieth century. Exerting its influence on the relationship of art and obscenity, it is one of the books that redefined not just literature but American culture. For the Burroughs enthusiast and the neophyte, this volume--that contains final-draft typescripts, numerous unpublished contemporaneous writings by Burroughs, his own later introductions to the book, and his essay on psychoactive drugs--is a valuable and fresh experience of a novel that has lost none of its relevance or satirical bite. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3552.U75 N3 2001

Rank:
52




Confessions of a Mask
by Yukio Mishima

9780811201186Yukio Mishima; Meredith Weatherby (Translator)Confessions of a MaskConfessions of a Mask tells the story of Kochan, an adolescent boy tormented by his burgeoning attraction to men: he wants to be "normal." Kochan is meek-bodied, and unable to participate in the more athletic activities of his classmates. He begins to notice his growing attraction to some of the boys in his class, particularly the pubescent body of his friend Omi. To hide his homosexuality, he courts a woman, Sonoko, but this exacerbates his feelings for men. As news of the War reaches Tokyo, Kochan considers the fate of Japan and his place within its deeply rooted propriety. Confessions of a Mask reflects Mishima's own coming of age in post-war Japan. Its publication in English--praised by Gore Vidal, James Baldwin, and Christopher Isherwood-- propelled the young Yukio Mishima to international fame. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PL833.I7 C6 1958

Rank:
20









Information

Award Description
The Triangle's list of 100 best lesbian and gay novels was selected by a panel of submitted by our judges, including the lesbian and gay writers Dorothy Allison, David Bergman, Christopher Bram, Michael Bronski, Samuel Delany, Lillian Faderman, Anthony Heilbut, M.E. Kerr, Jenifer Levin, John Loughery, Jaime Manrique, Mariana Romo-Carmona, Sarah Schulman, and Barbara Smith. The Publishing Triangle the association of lesbians and gay men in publishing, including book & magazine writers, editors, agents, marketing, sub-rights, publicity and sales people, booksellers, designers, librarians, and general book lovers.

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