On the Passing of Bob Smith

Bob Smith passed on yesterday and suddenly the world seems less fun.  Most people knew Bob Smith as the first openly gay comedian to perform on The Tonight Show.  Others knew him through his books, in particular his novels, Selfish and Perverse and Remembrance of Things I Forgot–both of which this site strongly recommended.  But […]

2016 was a Spectacular Year for Queer Lit.

Queer Reader predicted 2016 would be a good year for Queer Lit, but no one could have predicted just how good a year it would turn out to be.  In fact, since this website was founded over eight years ago, 2016 was by far the best year for Queer Lit. Two thousand sixteen was the […]

What is a Gay Novel?

Now that both the Publishing Triangle and the Lambda Literary finalists have been announced, it’s a good time to ask the question:  What makes a novel gay?  Gay characters?  A gay theme?  And does the author have to be gay? The so-called “gay novel,” first attracted national attention when Edmund White’s A Boy’s Own Story […]

The Publishing Triangle Gets It Right–Mostly.

On Tuesday, the Publishing Triangle announced the finalists for their annual awards. As Queer Reader has noted before, 2014 was a surprisingly good year for queer fiction–making the task of narrowing it all down particularly difficult.  For the most part The Publishing Triangle has gotten it right.  The best novel of the year, Bernardine Evaristo’s […]

On the Lambda Awards’ Tough Choices

The Lambda Literary Award Finalists were announced yesterday and this year they had some tough choices to make.  In a particularly strong year for fiction, there were bound to be some worthy books left out.  But let’s start first with what they got right. Michael Carroll’s Little Reef is a superb short story collection.  In […]

2014 Was a Surprisingly Good Year for Queer Lit.

Here’s something you might have missed:  2014 was a good year for Queer Lit.  It began with the publication of The Days of Anna Madrigal:  the final volume of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series.  Then came Edmund White’s warm-hearted Paris memoir, Inside a Pearl.  A superb new novel by Michael Cunningham.  The American […]

The Lambda Literary Awards Finalists Reflect A Strong Year for Queer Nonfiction.

Let’s get this out of the way first:  John Irving’s In One Person is a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award.  As queer readers will recall, I loved this book. It is the best queer novel of 2012 and may well be the best queer novel ever.  Yes, the Great American Queer Novel has been […]

Publishing Triangle Award’s Tough Choice

The Publishing Triangle Awards are tomorrow night.  I have mixed feelings about literary awards.  Most writers have a distinct strain of competitiveness running through them.  And I’m not sure at all sure this should be encouraged.  Nevertheless, a nomination for a literary prize–let alone the prize itself–is an honor.  A nomination for a Publishing Triangle […]

Colm Toibin’s The Empty Family is Great.

Tonight the Publishing Triangle Awards will be announced in New York City. Let me say in advance: congratulations to the winners.  And also to all the nominees.  This year there was a bit of controversy as Band of Thebes’ Stephen Bottum asked the question:  Why wasn’t Colm Toibin’s book of fiction, The Empty Family, nominated? […]

The End of Queer Reading as We Knew it: On the closing of A Different Light Bookstore.

I’m old enough to remember a time when literally everyone I knew regularly visited a bookstore named A Different Light.  I am actually referring to the first New York location–on Hudson Street.  That store functioned as something of a drop-in center.  I, myself, would go there several times a week to pick up a copy […]

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