Good reads in fiction for Gay Pride Month


Beginning June 1, Gay Pride Month features many fetes and many faces – theatrical productions, T-shirt sales, concerts, games, picnics, posters and the 40th Annual Gay Pride Festival, June 23-24. For bibliophiles or those who prefer to explore and experience through a good read, there are entire libraries that tell the stories, trace the history, and reflect the thoughts of GLBT writers. A random surf of the web discloses endless reading possibilities; as usual, the challenge is to select.

With that in mind, I defer to the selection art of others – list makers, bibliographers, professors and librarians – who play an indispensable winnowing role on just about every topic. This list narrows the bibliographic field to a specific genre and easy access to general interest titles that meet the interests of library patrons.

Again Ruthann Ovenshire, exhibitor nonpareil at Minneapolis Central Library, has identified and culled from that library’s shelves a starter list of GLBT fiction titles that are are available at the Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, and at many other public and academic libraries everywhere.

  • Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
  • Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
  • Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet
  • Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust
  • The Immoralist by Andre Gide
  • Orlando by Virginia Woolf
  • Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig
  • The Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Nightwood by Djuna Barnes
  • A Boy’s Own Story by Edmund White
  • Dancer from the Dance by Andrew Holleran
  • Maurice by E. M. Forster
  • The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal
  • Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
  • The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
  • City of Night by John Rechy
  • Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller
  • Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote
  • The Bostonians by Henry James
  • Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
  • The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  • Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  • The Persian Boy by Mary Renault
  • The Swimming Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst
  • Another Country by James Baldwin
  • Chéri by Colette
  • The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker

There are countless online lists of LGBT literature – fiction and non-fiction, books for young adults, mysteries, short stories, journals, websites, blogs and more. For a glimpse of the rich digital resources check the Rainbow Source list for titles and interesting category breakdowns. Bear in mind this is one of scores of tools to guide you to library collections, independent bookstores and other sources of the special title you seek.

The exhibit of GLBT titles available from the Minneapolis Central Library will open June 15. You’ll find more on LGBT literary genres, good reads for teens and special collections in future posts on this blog or see what’s happening on the LGBT Reading Blog.