There has been a revival in the gay novel, and the mainstream is starting to take notice, largely thanks to conversation around celebrated recent novels by Garth Greenwell and Hanya Yanagihara. Both authors deliver provocative portraits of gay male characters who struggle with physical self-hatred and unchecked sexual desire. These stories chronicle the inner world of the gay male, moving against a longstanding American tradition of gay novels that explore gay identity most often in relation to a larger social context. In these books, homosexuality was closeted and underground, a sexual identity that operated out of public sight and expressed itself through torturous, illicit sexual relationships between men in an intensely homophobic age. Unlike these predecessors, Yanagihara and Greenwell resist connecting their characters with a larger gay community, instead examining the introspective world of these men, plotting their complex psychology, and interrogating how their troubled pasts conspire to generate suicidal or self-destructive tendencies. What guides this new wave of gay writing is shame.
The Ultimate LGBTQIA+ Pride Book List | Penguin Random House
Historically, the term "gay literature" was sometimes used to cover both gay male and lesbian literatures. In a historical sense, literature as we understand it is a fairly new innovation, and the current concept of homosexuality is even fresher from the cultural oven. It's no great surprise, then, that gay literature — or even gay characters in literature — are so relatively new as to still be shiny. Because the social acceptance of homosexuality has varied in many world cultures throughout history, LGBT literature has covered a vast array of themes and concepts. LGBT individuals have often turned to literature as a source of validation, understanding, and beautification of same-sex attraction. In contexts where homosexuality has been perceived negatively, LGBT literature may also document the psychological stresses and alienation suffered by those experiencing prejudice, legal discrimination, AIDS , self-loathing, bullying, violence, religious condemnation, denial, suicide, persecution, and other such obstacles.
The Great Gay Novel Is Never Going to Happen
F elice Picano set out to write The Lure, his seminal gay thriller, after reading about a series of killings in Greenwich Village in the s. But then the news stories suddenly stopped. When Picano met the reporter, he said he had been receiving death threats. And I had a good time. I got a boyfriend out of it.
This course will provide an introduction to the gay novel in English in the 20th and early 21st centuries. We will explore this being and becoming in a variety of ethnic and racial, historical and cultural, gendered and class-inflected, sexual and affective settings and situations. Our understanding of the themes, structures, and development of the novels will also be informed by narrative theory. The course may concentrate on one specific author or period or contain a selection of authors from one or several periods. Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.