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Now that we've finished with the holidays, it's time to reassess this project. I was SO happy to have Joe Keenan with me during the first days of my bereavement (I read a lot of Blue Heaven on the bus to and from Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills). I thought I would have my copy of Quatrefoil by now, but no.  I"m just getting into Daniel Halperin's How To Be Gay, prompted by a course of the same name he taught at the University of Michigan that James McCourt would have loved, but it's a LONG book and I'll tell you about it on February 19. I have Donald Webster Cory's book, The Homosexual in America, handy, but, well, just no (we've come a LOOONG way, and maybe during the summer, but not now).

So nothing.  But there's a list of books we can look at (we're a list-making culture, after all), and something I said I'd do in the comment section of my diary on Dancer from the Dance. Follow me below the great orange armband.

The Publishing Triangle, an association of lesbians and gay men in publishing, assembled a number of its most well-read members and asked then to create a list ofthe 100 best lesbian and gay novels, and here it is:

1. Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
2. Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
3. Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet
4. Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust
5. The Immoralist by Andre Gide
6. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
7. The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall
8. Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig
9. The Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar
10. Zami by Audré Lorde
11. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
12. Nightwood by Djuna Barnes
13. Billy Budd by Herman Melville
14. A Boy's Own Story by Edmund White
15. Dancer from the Dance by Andrew Holleran
16. Maurice by E. M. Forster
17. The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal
18. Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
19. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
20. Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima
21. The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
22. City of Night by John Rechy
23. Myra Breckinridge by Gore Vidal
24. Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller
25. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein
26. Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote
27. The Bostonians by Henry James
28. Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles
29. Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
30. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
31. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
32. The Persian Boy by Mary Renault
33. A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
34. The Swimming Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst
35. Olivia by Dorothy Bussy
36. The Price of Salt (Carol) by Patricia Highsmith
37. Aquamarine by Carol Anshaw
38. Another Country by James Baldwin
39. Chéri by Colette
40. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
41. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
42. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
43. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
44. The Friendly Young Ladies (The Middle Mist) by Mary Renault
45. Young Törless by Robert Musil
46. Eustace Chisholm and the Works by James Purdy
47. The Story of Harold by Terry Andrews
48. The Gallery by John Horne Burns
49. Sister Gin by June Arnold
50. Ready to Catch Him Should He Fall by Neil Bartlett
51. Father of Frankenstein by Christopher Bram
52. Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
53. The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood
54. The Young and Evil by Charles Henri Ford and Parker Tyler
55. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
56. A Visitation of Spirits by Randall Kenan
57. Three Lives by Gertrude Stein
58. Concerning the Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli by Ronald Firbank
59. Rat Bohemia by Sarah Schulman
60. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
61. The Counterfeiters by André Gide
62. The Passion by Jeanette Winterson
63. Lover by Bertha Harris
64. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
65. La Bâtarde by Violette Leduc
66. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
67. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
68. The Satyricon by Petronius
69. The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell
70. Special Friendships by Roger Peyrefitte
71. The Changelings by Jo Sinclair
72. Paradiso by José Lezama Lima
73. Sheeper by Irving Rosenthal
74. Les Guerilleres by Monique Wittig
75. The Child Manuela (Mädchen in Uniform) by Christa Winsloe
76. An Arrow's Flight by Mark Merlis
77. The Gaudy Image by William Talsman
78. The Exquisite Corpse by Alfred Chester
79. Was by Geoff Ryman
80. Théresé and Isabelle by Violette Leduc
81. Gemini by Michel Tournier
82. The Beautiful Room Is Empty by Edmund White
83. The Children's Crusade by Rebecca Brown
84. The Story of the Night by Colm Toibin
85. The Holy Terrors (Les Enfants Terribles) by Jean Cocteau
86. Hell Has No Limits by José Donoso
87. Riverfinger Women by Elana Nachman (Dykewomon)
88. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon by Tom Spanbauer
89. Closer by Dennis Cooper
90. Lost Illusions by Honoré de Balzac
91. Miss Peabody's Inheritance by Elizabeth Jolley
92. René's Flesh by Virgilio Piñera
93. Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
94. Wasteland by Jo Sinclair
95. Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing by May Sarton
96. Sea of Tranquillity by Paul Russell
97. Autobiography of a Family Photo by Jacqueline Woodson
98. In Thrall by Jane DeLynn
99. On Strike Against God by Joanna Russ
100. Sita by Kate Millett
Ambitious and maybe too far-reaching (Moby-Dick? The Bostonians?), and shame on me, I haven't heard of more of these than I've actually read. And that gets me to part 2 of this. In response to someone who read Dancer from the Dance as a teenager and felt intimidated by it but thought he should give it another chance 40 years later, I commented (because I had just reread it)
  It will read MUCH differently now, yes (4+ / 0-)

and thank you for commenting on this.  I wonder if I should solicit diaries on people's first books with gay content.

Wonder resolved.  Mine is on this list: City of Night, by John Rechy.  I'd say it kept me in the closet for a couple of years because I didn't understand how many options were available beside "street hustler," an occupation I would have failed at miserably. What was yours? Did it help or hinder you, and, if it helped, how?

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