Sunday, December 23, 2012
Eminent Outlaws; The Gay Writers Who Changed America
From a broader perspective I have just completed reading Eminent Outlaws by Christopher Bram. He takes a close look at the last 50 years of gay writing from America, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Gore Vidal and James Baldwin all feature heavily in the 1950s post war period. They were often friends but also combative competitors.
Their writing was often criticised for being too homosexual or read as homosexual pretending to be straight. Baldwin suffered under the charge of not writing as a black man when he wrote a gay story. It is these writers who along with Christopher Isherwood and Edmund White showed that gay writing could be good and did not always have to include suffering homosexuals. Straight people had difficult lives and gay people often lived happy lives.
The literature produced could be entertaining, informative and for the publishers even profitable. The details of the plays, poems, novels and essays produced in the second half of last century is amazing. This could be a book in which to find your future reading lists.