AIDS literatures

Tim Dean, Steven Ruszczycky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Queer characters became increasingly visible in literary fiction, taking starring roles in novels by a range of writers, including Carson McCullers, Truman Capote, Angus Wilson, James Baldwin, Christopher Isherwood, Jane Rule, and Maureen Duffy. From the 1950s, a range of fiction and nonfiction books on queer subjects were available as cheap paperbacks. After 1970, gay and lesbian fiction has been constituted as a genre. Queer fiction since Stonewall, in its heterogeneity, has reflected the heterogeneity of queer identities, culture, and politics. The most challenging of 1970s lesbian novels, Bertha Harris's Lover, assembles a fantastical cast of magical women. Over the next two decades American gay male fiction transformed itself from a field of isolated figures to a crowded scene. Queer identities are accommodated in a world more tolerant than that portrayed in radical fiction of the post-Stonewall period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge History of Gay and Lesbian Literature
EditorsE. L. McCallum, Mikko Tuhkanen
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781139547376
ISBN (Print)9781107035218
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • lesbian fiction
  • post-Stonewall period
  • American gay male fiction
  • queer radicalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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