Looking for some new gay fiction....

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Looking for some new gay fiction....

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Feb. 28, 2009, 5:05pm


I'm keen on some reading some new gay fiction. I've read some Edmund White and David Leavitt but didn't get on with it very well neither Alan Hollinghshurst I am afraid. Feel it's time to try again. I am however a big of David Sedaris and Armistead Maupin.

Can anyone recommend some contemporary ish books (last 15 years or so) that they've loved?


Feb. 28, 2009, 5:37pm

Try one of these. I liked them all. There are a few non-fiction titles here but still quite good reads. Dan

1. Capote in Kansas - Kim Powers
2. Light Fell - Evan Fallenberg
3. Three Junes - Julia Glass
4. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon - Tom Spanbaur
5. Mysteries of Pittsburgh - Michael Chabon
6. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt
7. Fun Home: a Family Tragicomic - Alison Bechdel
8. Take Me Out - Richard Greenberg
9. Fellow Travelers - Thomas Mallon
10. The Story of the Night - Colm Toibin
11. February House - Sherill Tippins
12. The Talented Mr. Ripley - Patricia Highsmith
13. Lost Language of Cranes - David Leavitt
14. City of Night - John Retchy
15. Back Where He Started - Jay Quinn
16. The Notorious Dr. August - Christopher Bram
17. A Home at the End of the World - Michael Cunningham
18. The Clerk's Tale: Poems - Spencer Reece
19. The Music of Your Life: Stories - John Rowell
20. Close Range: Wyoming Stories - Annie Proulx
21. The Haunted Hillbilly - Derek McCormack
22. How I Paid for College: a Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship and Musical Theater - Marc Acito
23. The Line of Beauty - Alan Hollinghurst
24. Lincoln and Whitman: Parallel Lives in Civil War Washington - Daniel Mark Epstein
25. Something for the Boys: Musical Theater and Gay Culture - John M. Clum

Mrz. 1, 2009, 2:56pm

Brilliant-thanks very much.


Mrz. 3, 2009, 7:06pm

HI James,

Have fun with the list. I agree with you about E. White. I've never been able to read his stuff. There's some older stuff on the list so try at your own risk. However, I didn't put anything on the list I didn't like.

Let me know if you do read any of these and what you thought.

All the best.


Mrz. 3, 2009, 7:12pm

I just finished Light Fell by Evan Fallenberg. It's fantastic. I highly recommend it to everyone on this list. It's touching and sensitive, great characterizations. You'll love it too, I think. Dan

Mrz. 3, 2009, 11:49pm

Too funny -- I just got e-mail from a friend (and fellow LT member) who suggested Light Fell, having just finished it. I'd never heard of it previously, now twice within minutes!

Mrz. 4, 2009, 5:54am

Light Fell won the Stonewall Book Award for fiction in January. I think that's what has brought it to everyone's attention. I loved it. Give it a try. Try to buy it from an independent book seller.


Mrz. 5, 2009, 2:44pm

That's all great, many thanks. Great recommendations-looking forward to some good reads! James

Mrz. 6, 2009, 8:07am

Here are a few books with gay protagonists that I've enjoyed. Most of them don't really deal, specifically, with "gay" themes or storylines (about coming out and/or acceptance), but I think you may find something in there you'll enjoy:

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
Jeremy Thrane by Kate Christensen
Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale (fantasy)
As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann (historical)
Before I Lose My Style by Mike Kaspar
From Blue to Black by Joel Lane
Dream Boy by Jim Grimsley
The First Verse by Barry McCrea
Minions of the Moon by Richard Bowes (dark urban fantasy/horror)
What Love Means to You People by NancyKay Shapiro
Edinburgh by Alexander Chee
Avoidance by Michael Lowenthal
The Easy Way Out by Stephen McCauley
Kansas in August by Patrick Gale
Lust, or No Harm Done by Geoff Ryman

Gosh, I'm sure there are more but that'll have to do for now. Cheers.

Mrz. 6, 2009, 10:32am

It's pretty dark stuff, but you might want to check out some work by Dennis Cooper ... he's won a number of gay and mainstream-ish fiction awards ... I've read the first three books in what's called his "George Miles" cycle and certainly recommend those:


Mrz. 22, 2009, 8:33am

Thanks for all the recommendations!

Apr. 27, 2009, 9:45am

Did you read "Half-Life" by Aaron Krach? I've read it three times by now. One of the themes in the book is about falling in love, ever so slowly. No other author can make that universal and so important human feeling come to life as good and realistic as Krach did in this book. Leo

Apr. 30, 2009, 12:56pm

here's a recommendation...it happens to be my book...recently self-published at age 64 (never to old to learn new tricks.
title is Singing the Vernacular...see my profile for more info

Jun. 3, 2009, 1:54pm

If you like short fiction, I suggest Andrew Holleran'sbrilliant collection In September the Light Changes. This is by far one of the most beautiful and depressing collections of short fiction I've read in years. Not all of the stories work, but the ones that do really capture an era in gay life which has now passed. The writing is outstanding and the stories are very moving to read.

Jun. 10, 2009, 6:09pm

You should try The World of Normal Boys, and Exiles in America.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 18, 2009, 9:29pm

Just finished Three Junes> by Julia Glass.
Enjoyed it even if there are a few threads left unfinished, maybe there will be more.

Jul. 10, 2009, 3:06pm

The World of Normal Boys is good, but very depressing, and I like depressing books, sometimes. It's a real downer, so be prepared.

Aug. 13, 2009, 4:51pm

I just finished re-reading Burning Houses by Andrew Harvey. I first read it when it came out in 1986. It still holds up very well.

Mrz. 3, 2010, 9:33am

Have you read "the vintner's luck" by Elizabeth Knox ? I'm a big fan of this NZ author (also excellent: "daylight"); Niki Caro has made a film (soon to be relased) out of it, with Jérémie Renier, Gaspard Ulliel, Vera Farmiga and Keisha Castle-Hughes.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 3, 2010, 10:53pm

I just finished Finlater by Shawn Stewart Ruff. It won the Lambda award for Best Debut Fiction and is quite good.

Bearbeitet: Apr. 6, 2010, 2:15pm

Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy and Whistling in the Dark by Tamara Allen are two of my recent favorites. Great books!

Apr. 7, 2010, 12:33pm

I can recommend Patrick Gale. I have read Rough Music and Notes from an Exhibition in the past month and can't wait to read more of his works. Rough Music has a strong gay protagonist; Notes from an Exhibition has an important gay character. And, apart from the gay link, Gale writes beautifully and engagingly.

Jun. 8, 2010, 2:18pm

I've just finished and reviewed Date With a Sheesha, the seventh and latest Russell Quant mystery...what a wonderful, wonderful surprise and delight it was! The review is in my thread...post #11.

Anyone who's hesitating to delve into the series, take note: The rewards are getting greater!

Jun. 27, 2010, 9:07am

I just finished reading Tales from the Town of Widows: A Novel by James Canon. I highly recommend it. The story takes place in a small Columbian village during the never ending Civil War. It tells the tales of the women left in the village of Mariquita after all of the men are conscripted (kidnapped) to fight in the war. Living in a remote mountain village without men forces the women to build a new kind of community in order to survive. This is truly an original story of love, hope and survival. This will be my book of choice when it comes time for me to host my bookclub.

Aug. 13, 2010, 10:31pm

It's not fiction, but it's really just as good: I read and reviewed a delightful summertime memoir called The Bucolic Plague by drag-queen-turned-ad-exec-turned-organic-farmer Josh Kilmer-Purcell in my thread...post #42.

Aug. 16, 2010, 8:47am

I just finished The Bucolic Plague for my book club on Wednesday. "Cute" is the word that describes this book. Have you watched the TV show? The Fabulous Beekman Boys is in the Green Planet network. It's the latest version of Green Acres.

Aug. 16, 2010, 10:45am

I think the show's a riot...Farmer John **hates** Brent but could never say so, he's too nice.

I liked the undertones of trouble that the tall one put in, not glossing over the relationship problems that this huge undertaking is causing the two of them.

Have you visited their Website? Hours of entertainment.

Sept. 20, 2010, 6:06am


I loved very much the books of Michael Carson and Paul Monette. I read books of them in Dutch. One title I can mension of Carson is "Yanking up the Yo-yo.

Much pleasure in reading.

Bearbeitet: Sept. 22, 2010, 6:13pm

Re Burning Houses recommended in Message 18:

I managed to track down a hardcover copy at Betterworld Books for $3.98. I was amazed to see prices ranging up to $156 at Amazon.

I wonder if authors of books like this one which are generally no longer available would have a new market if they re-released the books as ebooks? Since getting my Kindle a whole range of gay-themed books not previously available to me due to the international postal charges from places like Amazon are now on my Kindle.

And one of my most enjoyable finds this year has been Tigers and Devils mentioned in Message 21.

Okt. 13, 2010, 1:10am

Louis Bayard's books have quite a bit in common with Armistead Maupin's series. Endangered Species and Fool's Errand are fun romantic comedies, and his historical fiction is also some of the best of that genre.

Okt. 14, 2010, 3:22pm

I just finished Keeping Promise Rock by Amy Lane. It's funny,sweet and sad. You'll cry if you're sensitive. Great book !

Nov. 12, 2010, 5:52pm

I just finished reading The Next Queen of Heaven by Gregory Maguire. I highly recommend it. It's full of eccentric characters living in a small upstate New York town. It's laugh out loud funny. Think of John Kennedy Toole or Michael Malone characters living in a Richard Russo setting.

Bearbeitet: Nov. 21, 2010, 8:08am

I fully agree with the reviews by others of Attack of the Theater People on LT.. This is a great sequel to Marc Acito's How I Paid for College. The style reminds me a lot of Joe Keenan's My Blue Heaven and Putting on the Ritz. If you like Acito you'll like Keenan and vice versa.

I thought the ending was a little underwhelming. Everything is neatly wrapped up, of course, in the last 5 or 6 pages. Boom: all's well that ends well.

All of these books fall into the laugh out loud category. You'll be quoting the one liners from them for a long time.

Dez. 3, 2010, 7:37am

Check out this list from the Lambda Literary Foundation. 80 authors pick their favorite books from 2010.


Bearbeitet: Dez. 10, 2010, 2:32pm

Just finished Alan Chin's The Lonely War and absolutely became engrossed in it. (Touchstone link doesn't work for this one.)


EDIT: Just read this morning that the book swept the Rainbow Awards, taking 1st place in four categories:
Best Overall Gay Fiction,
Best Historical Fiction,
Best Characters,
Best Setting.

(I have no relationship with the author other than as a very satisfied reader.)

Mai 29, 2011, 11:53am

for anyone who is interested, I have offered my first work of fiction for the kindle entitled, "Confessions of a Mid-Life Crisis."

This is not erotica, but a brutally honest depiction of gay man seeking change in his life.

They say that humans are social animals, and while this may be true from a sociological point of view, the deeper truth is that we are all solitary cells; trapped within the confines of our cognitive existence. We know only what our minds receive and play guessing games at the people around us based on observation and deduction. The stronger our inhibitions, the deeper our shame, the higher our sense of fear--- the more isolated and introverted we are. When we reach out to others in the world, we hide those parts of ourselves which we feel would be reviled. We place those things deep in dark corners where they fester. In some ways this can be good because those dark desires and secret needs facilitate a sense of individual self. Other times, they amplify our isolation and prevent the bonds that tie two lives together. This is why confession is good for the soul, because it stops the festering and eases the isolation.

available at:

for only $0.99

Mai 30, 2011, 8:31am

Hi there,

Andrew Holleran's Dancer from the Dance is a classic, as is
Felice Picano's Like People in History.

I relished the contemporary voice in Dale Peck's Fucking Martin, which was published as "Martin & John" in the states; Robert Gluck's Jack the Modernist is great, and his post-modern Margery Kempe is fascinating, too.

A major British writer is Neil Bartlett. His first novel, Ready to Catch Him should he Fall is a beautiful novel, but all of his novels are fascinating and beautifully written. He also wrote a biography of Oscar Wilde Who Was that Man? which is excellent, from a contemporary gay man's perspective.

Allan Gurganus's Plays Well with Others is a cracker set in post-AIDS NYC. Humour in the devastation.

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita May Brown is a comedy classic, and made me laugh out loud. More lesbian than gay, but DEFINITELY queer!

Robert Rodi wrote a series of hilarious light reads - Drag Queen, Closet Case, Bitch Goddess, Kept Boy - which are comic-book brilliant.

At the opposite end of the seriousness scale, Paul Golding is an exceptional writer, but with a very dark perspective. Senseless is a truly extraordinary piece of writing; The Abomination his first novel, a beautifully-executed piece of fiction.

I hope you enjoy these suggestions.

Jun. 13, 2011, 7:50pm

You've linked to the wrong 'Senseless' there. It should be


Bearbeitet: Jul. 20, 2011, 9:35pm

There is a forum on "justusboys" where members can post their own stories. Most of it (as you would imagine) is not great but the stories posted by one boy using the nickname "inthecloset" are surprisingly good.

I am currently reading his second story "Wings of a Butterfly" which he is posting chapter by chapter. That is interesting because people get to comment on the chapters and discuss them with the author (apparently) as they are written.

I would classify it as young-adult semi-erotic fiction and it needs some final editing, but I find it very moving at times. He should talk to a publisher.

Just a warning if you are interested that this web site contains lots of (graphic) advertisements for pornography, especially on the initial page. They (mostly) go away once you are into the forums. You need to become a member but it is free. (I think you can pay to turn off the porn adds).

Okt. 4, 2011, 12:50am

I love Sea of Tranquillity by Paul Russell and War Against the Animals also by Paul Russell. Also enjoyed call me by your name by Andre Aciman.

Okt. 4, 2011, 1:04am

Hello, it's me again but I have to let you know that if you enjoy gay male poetry, you'll love Love Medicine and One Song by Gregory Scofield. I also enjoyed At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill.

Okt. 4, 2011, 6:54am

I loved At Swim, Two Boys too, I think really the best gay fiction I have read. Strange that it has not been made into a film.

I see that there is a Welsh dance theatre company adaption. http://www.atswimtwoboys.com/index.php/the_book

Okt. 4, 2011, 4:31pm

>42 marq: Thanks for that link, marq. It's a pity that my time zone isn't GMT!

Okt. 14, 2011, 2:18pm

I tried one sort of by accident, Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan. Got a copy on CD at a closing Borders, put it on during commutes for work. It's for a younger audience, but cute. Either because a section is so ridiculous or cute, I always ended up smiling while listening. Book version may give a different feel, but not bad for a look. Also received a Lambda Literary Award.

Dez. 4, 2011, 6:02pm

I recommend Christopher Rice. I haven't read his latest (unsure of the title) but his first four are really good. They are on the thriller side of fiction, but I enjoy his books a lot. "A Density of Souls," "Snow Garden," "Light before Day," and "Blind Fall." Snow Garden is my favorite out of all of them and Blind Fall is my least favorite.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 31, 2012, 5:30pm

Two that I liked, which I didn't see mentioned, are "Like the Sun Rushing," Jack FitzGerald and "The Risk of His Music," Peter Weltner. The first is a novel which is a real rollercoaster of black humour and sudden dives into almost elegaic prose, and the second a collection of wonderfully written short stories. While several of the stories take place during the AIDS epidemic, they tend to be focused on the human relationships rather than physical aspects of the disease itself: thus, I'd say they are thoughtful rather than depressing reading experiences.

I enjoyed both, but neither are big on gay politics or issues of political correctness, more like "just guys"....sometimes being just jerks, and at other times discovering a vein of compassionate love in themselves.

Jan. 31, 2012, 5:22pm

I'm part way into We the Animals by Justin Torres, recommended by Rahul Mehta. Not especially gay yet but it's getting there. I can feel the vibes.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 5, 2012, 1:05am

Hi! I would love to offer you a free copy of my new novel about a gay romance, Gentlemen's Game (Lichen Craig), in return for a review. Feel free to email me at lichencraig at yahoo.com. Warning, it has some fairly explicit scenes - but they are part of the story, not gratuitous.

Feb. 5, 2012, 8:05am

42> "I loved At Swim, Two Boys too, I think really the best gay fiction I have read. Strange that it has not been made into a film."

I received this as a gift a while back and have yet to read it. Unfortunately, I don't read fiction when I am writing.

Mrz. 20, 2012, 8:52pm

I've written a review of a first mystery, featuring an out gay LAPD homicide detective (!), called The DVD Murders, It's in my thread...post #191.

I'll hold off advocating for it until I read some more in the series. At least I'm game to do that, which is more than most books I pick up!

Mrz. 28, 2012, 12:45am

I've recently purchased a kindle and have been finding some great gay YA reads on Amazon. Here are my favorites!

1. Sprout by Dale Peck (witty funny charming)
2. Outtakes of a Walking Mistake By Anthony Paull (LOL heartbreaker)
3. Hushed by Kelly York (gay ya thriller)

All three titles are under $5 and great!