“Sex and Sensibility in the Novels of Alan Hollinghurst” edited by Mark Mathuray— Hollinghurst and Queer Politics

Mathuray, Mark, editor. “Sex and Sensibility in the Novels of Alan Hollinghurst”, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

Hollinghurst and Queer Politics

Amos Lassen

Alan Hollinghurst is one of our seminal gay writers and master stylist. His books are examples of literary art and have often crossed over from gay readership to mainstream. He is a leader in the world of British fiction and his work is influential and beautifully written.

This is a challenging and engaging collection of original essays on the novels of Alan Hollinghurst, that engage the precarious and shifting relationship between sex and literary sensibility in novels and, therefore they also attempt to establish the parameters of a “new critical discourse for future research on Hollinghurst’s novel, queer theory and the contemporary literary representations of masculinity and sexuality”. We look at Hollinghurst’s aesthetics and his sensuously evocative style and see it as an interrogation of the social, political and sexual currents in his texts. The contributors to this anthology provide distinctive and clear interpretations of his novels from Hollinghurst’s uncovering of a gay artistic heritage to his re-signification of earlier English literary styles. We recognize his engagement with the Symbolist fin de siècle and his critique of aestheticism, etc., while at the same time pay close attention to the formally innovative qualities of his texts. We do not often get a chance to read an author of his caliber writing what is so important to the way we live, gay or straight and for that he is to be treasured.

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