Murder at the Nightwood Bar (Kate Delafield, #2) Murder at the Nightwood Bar question

Autumn Autumn Mar 17, 2013 11:57AM
Does anyone else think that this book may not represent the current position of homosexuals in US society?

Nightwood Bar was written in 1987, more than 25 years ago.

That was the year that Barney Frank became the first openly gay member of the US Congress; it was ten years before Ellen came out on her TV show (and in real life); that was 16 years before Lawrence v Texas (decriminalizing sodomy).

In 1987, AIDS was a "gay disease" and it was decimating gay communities across the country, while mainstream America looked the other way. In 1987 there were NO workplace protections ANYWHERE for LGBT folks. In 1987, not a single state had marriage equality. In 1987 you could be kicked out the military for being gay - before DADT.

So, no, the book doesn't represent the "current position" of LGBTs in US Society. It's a murder mystery, though, not a history book. If I were to read Murder on the Orient Express, it wouldn't occur to me to ask if the representation of murder investigation in eastern Europe, was current. Just like Michelle says, it's a product of its time.

Is the book "Outdated?" No. It's a good read, quick and just dark enough to feel gritty. Kate Delafield is a great character at the near beginning of her fictional life. It takes a snapshot of life in LA in the 1980s and tells a good story. Also, the crimes at the center of the story could be ripped out of today's headlines.

I'm a little protective of the book - it was the second book with gay content that I ever purchased (at least 10 years after it had been written). I have a soft spot for Kate Delafield and her trials and tribulations. The prose isn't perfect and there is other great LGBT fiction out in the world, but this series by Katherine Forrest was so damn important when it came out.

It's been a while since I read it, but I think you're right. I think it was timely at the time it was written.

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