Stock Image

A history of gay literature; the male tradition

Woods, Gregory

46 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0300072015 / ISBN 13: 9780300072013
Published by Yale University Press, New Haven, 1998
From Bolerium Books Inc. (San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since December 14, 1997

Quantity Available: 3

Buy Used
Price: US$ 31.50 Convert Currency
Shipping: Free Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

vii, 456p., illustrations, notes, bibliography, index, very good first edition in boards and unclipped dj. Bookseller Inventory # 71225

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: A history of gay literature; the male ...

Publisher: Yale University Press, New Haven

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


While many books have been written about gay writing, this is an account of male gay literature, across cultures, languages, and from ancient times to the present. Working within the widest definitions of what constitutes gay literature, it includes chapters on the significant periods of cultural history (the Greek and Roman civilizations, the Middle Ages, the European Renaissance, the American Renaissance and the 20th century), on major writers (Marlowe, Shakespeare, Proust, Wilde) and on common themes (boyhood, mourning, masturbation). A work of reference as well as a history of a tradition, it covers a large field in terms of time (from Homer to Edmund White), literary status (from cultural icons like Virgil and Dante to popular novelists like Clive Barker and Dashiell Hammett), and location (from Mishima's Tokyo and Abu Nuwas' Baghdada to David Leavitt's New York). The book also deals with representations of male-male love by writers who were not themselves homosexual or bisexual men. It also addresses gaps, such as the lack of a substantial literature of the gay holocaust and the dearth of gay writing in post-colonial African poetry. In the breadth of its scope, the book confronts trends in Anglo-American gay studies, both by insisting on the internationalism of homosexual culture and by reasserting a continuity of homo-erotic traditions between the ancient world and the present. Furthermore, by declining to focus only on the most obvious authors and texts, Woods succeeds in both widening the gay canon and reminding us of the large variety of gay works within the mainstream. What emerges is a gay male literature that is far from peripheral to the world's major cultural traditions. This work celebrates the complexity of the literature that gay men write, read, and offer to the broadest market.


The very idea of a unique tradition of gay-male writing began relatively recently. Early in the 20th century, homosexual writers began to write more honestly. Yet writers, both gay and straight, have written about the experience of homosexuality since ancient times. In his encyclopedic overview, Gregory Woods has knitted together a transhistorical and transcultural history--a tradition--of gay-male writing over the centuries. Using a broad but readily applicable definition of gay literature that includes works by openly gay men, works in which homosexual activity occurs, and works that manifest a gay "sensibility," Woods manages to move us from Homer to David Leavitt, from Arabic poets of the classical age to contemporary South African poetry, from closeted Victorian memoirs to AIDS literature. By its nature, A History of Gay Literature lacks the specificity of critique that illuminates individual work, but this approach is more than compensated for by the book's ability to locate and discuss amazing similarities of experience and expression throughout history and culture. Highly intelligent, jauntily written, and endlessly informative, A History of Gay Literature is an impressive addition to contemporary gay scholarship.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

Bolerium Books specializes in American social movements and related topics. You can contact us for free email lists in our subject areas. We are located in San Francisco's Mission District on the third floor at 2141 Mission St. Our public hours are Noon to 6pm, Monday to Saturday.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

All books in very good condition or better unless noted. California customers will be billed for sales tax unless a resale number is provided. Major institutions and ABAA/ILAB dealers can be invoiced upon request. All drop ships will be sent with a Bolerium return address & the ABE manifest. All books returnable for any reason within 30 days of estimated delivery date.

Bolerium Books is located at 2141 Mission, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94110. 415-863-6353, email: Contact ...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Orders are securely packed and usually ship within 2 business days. Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or over sized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required. Overnight shipping available upon request at additional cost

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express