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The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Twenty-eight modern gay authors reminisce about their favorite out-of-print gay novels, bringing the texts to light and telling intimate stories of their own.
Paperback, 232 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Haiduk Press
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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Jim Coughenour
Jun 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, gaiety
The besetting sin of middle age is to discount the present in praise of the past. It's June in San Francisco, the streets are lined with rainbow flags, the Castro is now "historic" – and I catch myself thinking, Hell, I remember when pride parades were not only parties but raw, wild and militant. Before AIDS, when no one wanted to join the military or get married. (Then comes the after-voice: shut up, old man.)

I mention this only because today I came across Cardamone's little book by chance in t
Wow, what a fantastic tribute to the power of literature to broaden people’s minds and to inspire and change lives.

What struck me again and again was how so many of these gay authors, writing about literature that had a seminal impact on them, recounted how encountering a specific book in a bookshop, library or even garage sale at a specific time had a crucial effect on their socio-sexual development and identity.

I wonder if this is something we have lost in the age of ebooks: that sense of walk
Andy Quan
Jan 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  (Review from the author)
(Original review is here:

Books are years in the making, and it was a few years ago that Tom Cardamone, asked whether I’d be interested in contributing an essay to a collection about favourite gay books that were out-of-print. Tom and I had connected with each other through a tenuous link or two. He had written a positive review of my collection of sex fiction, but he’d also done a review of a book that I was also about to review for an internet magazine. I asked him wh
K.M. Soehnlein
May 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A highly accessible must-read book for anyone interested in gay fiction. These essays shine a light on novels (and some story collections) published from the 1960's through the 1990's--all of it now out of print.

Each essay is an appreciation from a different writer about book with personal meaning for him. Christopher Bram tells about his friendship with Allan Barnett and his admiration for Barnett's story collection "The Body and Its Dangers"... Aaron Hamburger writes about his missed connecti
This is a lovely collection of essays by gay male writers about now out-of-print books by their forebears that particularly affected them in some way. Many of these essays are in themselves beautiful writing and my “To-Read” list has expanded accordingly. I particularly want to get my hands on George Whitmore’s Nebraska, Mark Merlis’s American Studies (which is happily back in print now) and Time Remaining by James McCourt, after reading the respective paeans to them here. There is also a palpab ...more
Sean Meriwether
May 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommends it for: Gay readers, writers
Coming out used to be much more difficult and was ripe with dangers that today’s gay youth are wholly unaware of. Tom Cardamone’s introduction in this homage to out of print gay fiction touches upon those challenges, and how once-upon-a-not-so-long-ago-time gay fiction and bookstores were the entry point for many to our community. Those days may have passed but the connection to our roots and our literature is just as strong—at least for some of us—than ever. Full disclosure, not only am I inclu ...more
Leigh Anne
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
A concise history of 20th-century gay literature.

Most people could probably name one or two gay literary novels, if pressed. The essays in Cardamone's collection will introduce readers to many more. Each contributor examines his favorite gay novel at length, not just for literary quality/merit, but also in terms of the effect said text had on his own evolution/experience as a gay man.

I consider myself a fairly knowledgeable reader, but this book blew me away. 99% of the texts--to say nothing of
Jun 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Talk about a labor of love! These essays are great, well written by wonderful authors. I just wasn't in the mood for essays or I think I would have rated it higher. Biggest problem for me was that some of the novels reviewed were ones I read when published and that I didn't necessarily like at the time. There's only so much sex and drugs one can handle, and look where that's gotten us. So while there's sense in making beauty from horrible situations, after awhile it's no longer pretty or unique ...more
Mia Neil
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A dazzling and pioneering collection of essays by contemporary gay writers who remember — and memorialize — those literary works that shaped their own personal journeys toward self-recognition. Collectively, the essays testify to the enduring power of art to illuminate the paths that lead us home. . . . A major milestone in the on-going project of constructing a distinctly gay literary history.
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
The trouble with anthologies is that you only get what you know. I thought I am quite well read but apparently my reading goes as far as the Stonewall. So I need to study more classics. But this book is definitely a good start.
Larry-bob Roberts
May 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Nice collection of essays by gay writers on more or less obscure gay books which they feel deserve more attention. In many cases the essayist rereads a book that was inflential on him when coming out. As someone who came out in the gay section of the library, I could relate.
This has been an interesting read, learning about gay fiction throughout the 20th century. I one knew little to nothing about this subjet before. I might just try and get my hands on some of these books.
Elisa Rolle
Nov 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
2010 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention (5* from at least 1 judge)
Jul 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
OK as far as it goes, but most of the books discussed seem to have little relevance to 21st century experience.
Doug Sadownick
haven't gotten yet but can't wait! ...more
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Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  (Review from the author)
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Tom Cardamone’s speculative short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Spectrum award. His work has appeared in various magazines and anthologies like So Fey: Queer Fairy Fiction, Best Gay Fiction, Best Gay Erotica, Best Gay Romance, and Madder Love: Queer Men and the Precincts of Surrealism. He is the author of the erotic fantasy novel, The Werewolves of Central Park and editor o ...more

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