Print ISBN: 978-1-63700-719-8
# of Pages: 600
# of Volumes: 2
Print List Price: $225
e-ISBN: 978-1-63700-722-8
eBook User Price: $225
Free Online Access
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Notable Writers of LGBTQ+ Literature

Free Online Access to the Salem Press/Grey House Platform
November 2023


This set is a collection of analytic, scholarly, encyclopedic essays about an increasingly vibrant and diverse literary tradition. It examines poems, plays, novels, and short fiction from ancient times to the present day. It explores the lives of relevant writers, the reception of relevant texts, and the history of the tradition as it has unfolded—slowly at first, and then more quickly—over the last four thousand years. It deals with the challenges (both literary and personal) writers in this tradition have faced as well as the ways those challenges were gradually diminished. It emphasizes the literary qualities of LGBTQ+ literature while also setting such literature in its social, historical, and cultural contexts.

ALA Dartmouth Honorable Mention for Oustanding Reference Title 2023


This set is a collection of analytic, scholarly, encyclopedic essays about an increasingly vibrant and diverse literary tradition. It examines poems, plays, novels, and short fiction from ancient times to the present day. It explores the lives of relevant writers, the reception of relevant texts, and the history of the tradition as it has unfolded—slowly at first, and then more quickly—over the last four thousand years. It deals with the challenges (both literary and personal) writers in this tradition have faced as well as the ways those challenges were gradually diminished. It emphasizes the literary qualities of LGBTQ+ literature while also setting such literature in its social, historical, and cultural contexts.

The tradition of LGBTQ+ writing goes back almost to the beginning of literature itself. Readers, for instance, have long seen signs of it in the Epic of Gilgamesh and in Homer’s Iliad. The poems of Sappho of Lesbos, the island from which the term “lesbian” is derived, are universally considered some of the most beautiful lyrics ever composed in ancient Greece, themes also appear in works by Virgil, the greatest Roman poet. And, readers and playgoers have long seen in Shakespeare’s poems and plays evidence of numerous LGBTQ+ characters and topics.

By the eighteenth century, the “love that dare not speak its name” was increasingly prominent, and by the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the floodgates had begun to open. In the last hundred years, LGBTQ+ literature has been written by thousands and read by millions.

Notable Writers of LGBTQ+ Literature is a collection with broad appeal.  It helps readers:

  • Explore the earliest roots and later branches of this tradition;
  • Discover the challenges writers in this tradition have long faced but have recently overcome;
  • Learn about how LGBTQ+ writers have affected, and been affected by, broader, more conventional literary canons; and
  • Follow how reviewers and scholars have responded to writers and writing

Relevant writers include: Homer, Sappho, Virgil, Richard Barnfield, William Shakespeare, Aphra Behn, John Cleland, Lord Byron, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Oscar Wilde, A.E. Housman, C.P. Cavafy, Willa Cather, E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, Christopher Isherwood, Mary Renault, W.H. Auden, Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, James Baldwin, Yukio Mishima, Edward Albee, Katherine Philips, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, and Tony Kushner.

Each essay identifies relevant genres and biographical data. The set also includes a Chronological List of Authors; a Genre Index; a Personages Index;a Title Index; a Subject Index; and dozens of photographs. Designed to introduce readers at the high school and university levels to the rich world of LGBTQ+ literature, this set gives students access to careful research and resources so they can further explore this rich literary tradition.