Gay Literature | Los Angeles Public Library
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Gay Literature

Updated: May 17, 2018

Novels, plays and poetry with characters, plots about or by gay men. More novels will be found under the subject heading Gay men - fiction. More poetry will be found under the subject heading Gay men poetry

Frank, Judith, 1958-

Also available for download as an e-book.
Matthew and Daniel’s domestic bliss is shattered when Daniel’s brother and sister-in-law are killed in a Jerusalem bombing. The couple are thrust into parenthood when they learn that they have been named the surviving children’s guardians.

Cavafy, Constantine, 1863-1933.
Call Number: 889.1 K11-6

Constantine Cavafy's poetry is classical, beautiful, elegant and erotic, and he never shies away from his own sexuality as the subject.

Isherwood, Christopher, 1904-1986.
Call Number: Ed.c

In this fictionalized account of his time in Weimar Berlin, Isherwood introduces characters who would later be made famous by the play, I am a cameraand the Broadway musical and film, Cabaret.The stories are also vivid pictures of attitudes and political inclinations leading to the rise of Nazi Germany.

Pinckney, Darryl, 1953-

Jed, middle-class, black and gay in 1980s' Chicago, hopes to find freedom and acceptance in Berlin, as did William Bradshaw in Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Stories. Darryl Pinckney's writing style and plot structure weave stream of consciousness, reflection and critical commentary, into a uniquely modern story.

Levithan, David.
Call Number:
Boy meets boy. Boy falls in love with boy. Boy messes up spectacularly. Boy loses boy. Boy tries to win boy back. Levithan has created a beatiful and fantastically idealistic world with lovable characters and snappy dialog.

Williams, Tennessee, 1911-1983.
Call Number: 812 W727-10 2004
Maggie struggles to keep her marriage together and inheritance intact, while husband Brick drinks to forget the failed love of an old football teammate. Williams' scene notes and unusual characterization of patriarch Big Daddy's unconditional love for his son in the 1950s American south makes reading this play more rewarding than watching the sanitized Newman/Taylor film.

Mann, Thomas, 1875-1955.
Call Number: Ed.j
Gustav von Aschenbach, a middle-age German writer in the early 1900s, travels to Venice alone on a meditative journey that becomes a life-altering infatuation/obsession with a young boy. This study of self-hate vs. the pursuit of happiness is also notable for the Michael Cunningham introduction on the subtleties of translation in the Michael Henry Heim edition.

Lanyon, Josh.

When Adrien's friend turns up dead in an alley the morning after a loud public argument, Adrien becomes the prime suspect, but he may be the killer's next victim.

Call Number: 808.1 F6213

The anthology of poems and poets is divided into three sections:  Pre-Stonewall Poets (pre - 1970); Stonewall - First Diagnosis of AIDS Poets (1970 - 1981); AIDS Diagnosis - Brandon Teena's Death Poets (1982 - 1993). The collection is the result of Capturing Fire, The International Queer Spoken Word Slam.

Baldwin, James, 1924-1987.
Call Number: Ed.c

David is a young American living in 1950s Paris, retreating from his fiancée and discovering homosexual love with Italian bartender Giovanni. Daring and bald-faced, this novel is written with such a modern tone, it could be set in current-day West Hollywood.

Taia, Abdellah, 1973-

Originally from Morocco, Abdellah Taïa lives in France and is among a small group of openly gay Arabic writers. Infidels portrays the harsh life of a mother and son who are among the outcasts of a structured religious society, and how the limits force people to take desperate measures.

Maupin, Armistead,
Call Number: 813 M452M

Armistead Maupin's warm memoir of growing up in conservative North Carolina, and realizing that this was not the place for him. Candid and humorous about his life's journey in the navy in Vietnam to San Francisco in the 1970s, to becoming a writer and gay rights pioneer.

Forster, E. M. 1879-1970.
Call Number: Ed.b
Maurice is a student at Cambridge in the early 1900s who discovers, despite his social status and predictable career expectations, he is altogether unpredictably homosexual. Written in 1913 but not published until 1971, Maurice is shockingly modern and upfront; a tale of awareness, loss, and ultimately love.

Evaristo, Bernardine, 1959-
Also available for download as a e-book and e-audiobook.
74-yea-old, Barrington, Barry for short, is tired of living with his bitter wife. When Barry’s old friend and lover, Morris, asks Barry to move in with him, Barry must rectify his ideas of masculinity with his flamboyant persona.

Call Number: 811.08 M9955-2

A collection of poems from a 16-week workshop taught at the Gay & Lesbian Center in Los Angeles, which was funded by a grant from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. A special feature of the workshop is that autobiographical poetry was taught to GLBT senior citizens.

Hennessy, Christopher, 1973- author, interviewer.
Call Number: 811.09 H515-1

Interviews with eight renowned gay American poets:  Edward Field, John Ashbery, Richard Howard, Aaron Shurin, Dennis Cooper, Cyrus Cassells, Wayne Koestenbaum, and Kazim Ali. All of the them are candid about their personal lives, art, and what it means to be a modern gay poet.

Lawlor, Andrea,

A daring, satirical take on gay/lesbian/queer theory/shapeshifting, gender-bending during the 1990s--maybe for all time.  Andrea Lawlor will leave readers breathless, laughing, confused and thoughtful.

Blanco, Richard, 1968-
Call Number: 811 B6395B-1

The autobiography of the first Latino and openly gay presidential inaugural poet.  

Burroughs, William S., 1914-1997.
Call Number: Ed.b

Burrough's autobiographical novel depicts the tumultuous period of his life after the accidental shooting death of his wife, Joan. The protagonist, William, is withdrawing from heroin while obsessing over his reluctant lover, Eugene, in 1940s Mexico City.

Call Number: 810.8 Q35-1

A collection of LGBTQ stories, poems, memories of coming out--from writers who share their experiences about the American South.

Isherwood, Christopher, 1904-1986.
Call Number: Ed.b
A single day in the life of George, a college English professor in 1960s Los Angeles, as he copes with the sudden death of his lover. George is wry, witty and, although cynical, ultimately positive as he seeks a way to connect with a life that is trying to leave him behind.

Greer, Andrew Sean.

Also available for as an audiobook.
In 1954 San Francisco, Pearlie is devoted to caring for her ailing husband and polio-stricken son.  When her husband's former lover shows up at their home, Pearlie is forced to make some painful decisions.

Maupin, Armistead.
Call Number: Ed.b

Find the complete series in our catalog.
Maupin’s seminal mystery series brings together a cast of young eccentrics at the height of the sexual revolution of the 1970s. When Maryann Singleton visits San Francisco for the first time, she instantly knows she can never go back to Cleveland. When she rents an apartment at 28 Barbary Lane, the perks are endless: from the “welcome” joint neatly taped to her door by the landlady, to the friends and loves that will last a lifetime. The landlady, Anna Madrigal, keeps her tenants as close as family, but none of them realize just how close they really are until her secret is revealed.

Butler, Isaac,
Call Number: 812 K9757Bu

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Broadway premiere of Angels in America, this oral history documents the play's saga.