The Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories: 2
David Leavitt, Mark Mitchell
Viking, Jan 1, 1994 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 655 pages
This is an anthology of stories that, in the words of its co-editor David Leavitt, "illuminate the experience of love between men, explore the nature of homosexual identity, or investigate the kinds of relationships gay men have with each other, with their friends, and with their families". It is not a collection of stories written exclusively by gay authors; indeed, readers may be surprised to discover that some of their favorite women writers and straight male writers have also explored the territory. What the stories do share is a refusal to ghettoize gay men as denizens of the gay nocturnal subculture. The men in these stories live very much in the world; their sexuality, though an important aspect of their lives, doesn't singularly define them. The thirty-nine stories brought together here suggest the ways in which gay experience has - and hasn't - changed over the course of this century, starting with the tender, unarticulated longings of two boys swimming in D. H. Lawrence's "A Poem of Friendship" and ending with the explicit sexual interaction of two boys in a bathtub in A. M. Homes's "The Whiz Kids". In between there is every imaginable kind of gay story, as offered by well-known authors and by those less familiar to the devotees of the genre. There is wry humor in Barbara Pym's clever manipulation of romantic convention; painful accounts of discovery in Larry Kramer's "Mrs. Tefillin"; the consolation of age in Edmund White's "Reprise"; and in Randall Kenan's "Run, Mourner, Run", the breaking of both racial and sexual taboos. The anthology also encompasses a richly diverse subcategory of stories inspired by AIDS, from such writers as Allen Barnett, Michael Cunningham, StephenGreco, Dennis McFarland, and Peter Wells: stories that explore not only the tragedy of the epidemic but also the triumphs, even the erotic possibilities, that have been generated in its wake. These stories illuminate the common ground of gay male experience - as well as its astonishing diversity.
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Penguin book of gay short storiesUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
One would be hard put to assemble a collection of fiction to more dreary effect than this anthology of the gay male experience. That is surprising, however, because the editors allow themselves wide ... Read full review