Editor Fone (English/CUNY) offers what may well be the landmark gay anthology the publisher claims it to be--a volume that,...

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THE COLUMBIA ANTHOLOGY OF GAY LITERATURE: Reading from Western Antiquity to the Present Day

Editor Fone (English/CUNY) offers what may well be the landmark gay anthology the publisher claims it to be--a volume that, unlike similar collections, includes a broad range of genres. Even straights should be moved by the passion in much of the material here, especially the Walt Whitman and Constantine Cavafy poems. Selections begin with Sumerian lore, span classical Greek and Latin, continue through European, English, Latin American, and American literary periods, and end with modern gay writing since i 969 (James Baldwin, Edmund White, and others). Less canonical than Whitman, Auden, Baldwin, etc., are authors of the hidden heritage, who balance Fone's wide selection of essential homoerotic writers. He apologizes that his space doesn't allow for including examples of the gay drama springing from Mart Crowley's seminal Boys in the Band (1968), but each historical period bears its own introduction. Fone's editorial ""we"" refers to gay men rather than lesbians, who have their own texts and anthologies. Students and nonacademics will find this commendably readable.

Pub Date: May 21, 1998

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 912

Publisher: Columbia Univ.

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1998