Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers Who Changed America

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Grand Central Publishing, Feb 2, 2012 - Literary Criticism - 384 pages
60 Reviews
In the years following World War II a group of gay writers established themselves as major cultural figures in American life. Truman Capote, the enfant terrible, whose finely wrought fiction and nonfiction captured the nation's imagination. Gore Vidal, the wry, withering chronicler of politics, sex, and history. Tennessee Williams, whose powerful plays rocketed him to the top of the American theater. James Baldwin, the harrowingly perceptive novelist and social critic. Christopher Isherwood, the English novelist who became a thoroughly American novelist. And the exuberant Allen Ginsberg, whose poetry defied censorship and exploded minds. Together, their writing introduced America to gay experience and sensibility, and changed our literary culture.

But the change was only beginning. A new generation of gay writers followed, taking more risks and writing about their sexuality more openly. Edward Albee brought his prickly iconoclasm to the American theater. Edmund White laid bare his own life in stylized, autobiographical works. Armistead Maupin wove a rich tapestry of the counterculture, queer and straight. Mart Crowley brought gay men's lives out of the closet and onto the stage. And Tony Kushner took them beyond the stage, to the center of American ideas.

With authority and humor, Christopher Bram weaves these men's ambitions, affairs, feuds, loves, and appetites into a single sweeping narrative. Chronicling over fifty years of momentous change-from civil rights to Stonewall to AIDS and beyond-EMINENT OUTLAWS is an inspiring, illuminating tale: one that reveals how the lives of these men are crucial to understanding the social and cultural history of the American twentieth century.

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Excellent--good writing and insights. - Goodreads
It gives a lot of insight. - Goodreads
The writer should have done some deeper research. - Goodreads
I have only recently begun writing gay-themed books. - Goodreads

Review: Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers Who Changed America

User Review  - Meridith - Goodreads

This book was everything I hoped for and more. Insider-y gossip, succinct biographies of the writers I love (Edmund White, Truman Capote, Andrew Holleran, James Baldwin) and the all-important timeline ... Read full review

Review: Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers Who Changed America

User Review  - Andy Bird - Goodreads

This was a good book, a quick whip through 60 years of gay (male) literature. It's readable & gossipy without being total pulp (that would be fun too). It became somewhat mechanical as it went on ... Read full review

About the author (2012)

Christopher Bram is the author of nine novels, including Gods and Monsters (originally titled Father of Frankenstein), which was made into an Academy Award-winning film. Bram was a 2001 Guggenheim Fellow and received the 2003 Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement. He lives in New York City.

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