The Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories: 2

Front Cover
David Leavitt, Mark Mitchell
Viking, Jan 1, 1994 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 655 pages
10 Reviews
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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Review: The Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories

User Review  - Richard Jespers - Goodreads

An extraordinary collection. I enjoyed many of the stories—a much more varied look at gay characters in terms of historical era, age, sex of narrator, and setting than some anthologies. So many of ... Read full review

Review: The Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories

User Review  - Alan Woo - Goodreads

Some good stories in here. My favourites were Ignorant Armies by Michael Cunningham, Buried Treasure by Gary Glickman, Jump or Dive by Peter Cameron, Gentlemen Can Wash Their Hands in the Gents' by Christopher Coe, and The Dancing Lesson by Gerry Albarelli. Read full review



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About the author (1994)

David Leavitt's first collection of stories, "Family Dancing," was a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award & the PEN/Faulkner Prize. "The Lost Language of Cranes" was made into a BBC film, & "While England Sleeps" was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Fiction Prize. Leavitt is also the author of "Equal Affections," "A Place I've Never Been," "Arkansas," & "The Page Turner." With Mark Mitchell, he coedited "The Penguin Book of Short Stories" & "The Pages Passed from Hand to Hand" & cowrote "Italian Pleasures." He is recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation & the National Endowment for the Arts. He divides his time between Italy and Florida.

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