“Gay Novels of Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth, 1881-1981: A Reader’s Guide” by Drewey Wayne Gunn— British Gay Fiction

gay novels of britain

Gunn, Drewey Wayne, “Gay Novels of Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth, 1881-1981: A Reader’s Guide”, McFarland, 2014.

British Gay Fiction

Amos Lassen

Although this book is not out yet, I want everyone to be aware of it as it fills the gap between American and British gay fiction. American gay fiction has received and still receives scholarly attention while some of the most important gay themed novels have been written and published “across the pond”. Not much attention has been given to developments in other English-speaking countries. This survey catalogs 254 novels and novellas by some 173 British, Irish and Commonwealth authors in which gay and bisexual male characters play a major role. The book is arranged chronologically from the appearance of the first gay protagonist in 1881, to works from the onset of the AIDS epidemic in 1981. There are in-depth entries that discuss each book’s publication history, plot and significance for the construct of gay identity, along with a brief biography of its author. Some of the iconic works included are Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” (1890) and E.M. Forster’s “Maurice”(1913-14 written, published 1971) as well as lesser known but noteworthy novels such as Rose Macaulay’s “The Lee Shore” (1912) and John Broderick’s “The Waking of Willie Ryan” (1969), this volume–the first of its kind–enlarges our understanding of the development of gay fiction and provides an essential reading list.

One thought on ““Gay Novels of Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth, 1881-1981: A Reader’s Guide” by Drewey Wayne Gunn— British Gay Fiction

  1. jacobzcampbell

    Here we go again…another MUST READ for serious study of gay literature. I look forward to this one especially because it serves as a guide as to content and additionally, comment on the impact of the novels in terms of gay culture and its development. Thanks Amos.

    Reply

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