Cover image for Something inside : conversations with gay fiction writers
Something inside : conversations with gay fiction writers
Gambone, Philip.
Publication Information:
Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiv, 341 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
pt. 1. Early Bay Windows interviews (1987-1990). Joseph Hansen. Brad Gooch. David Leavitt. Dennis Cooper. Paul Monette. Allen Barnett -- pt. 2. The WOMR interviews (1993). Christopher Bram. Lev Raphael. Michael Nava. Michael Cunningham. John Preston. Andrew Holleran. Randall Kenan -- pt. 3. Later interviews (1994-1998). David Plante. Alan Hollinghurst. Edmund White. Brian Keith Jackson. Peter Cameron. Scott Heim. Bernard Cooper. Michael Lowenthal.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS374.H63 S66 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In the last twenty years, gay literature has earned a place at the American and British literary tables, spawning its own constellation of important writers and winning a dedicated audience. No one, though, until Philip Gambone, has attempted to offer a collective portrait of our most important gay fiction writers. This selection of interviews attempts just that and is notable both for the depth of Gambone's probing conversations and for the sheer range of important authors included.

Allen Barnett
Christopher Bram
Peter Cameron
Bernard Cooper
Dennis Cooper
Michael Cunningham
Brad Gooch
Joseph Hansen
Scott Heim
Andrew Holleran
Alan Hollinghurst
Brian Keith Jackson
Randall Kenan
David Leavitt
Michael Lowenthal
Paul Monette
Michael Nava
David Plante
John Preston
Lev Raphael
Edmund White

Author Notes

Philip Gambone is an award-winning essayist, journalist, and fiction writer living in Boston. He teaches writing at Harvard University. His previous work includes a book of stories, The Language We Use Up Here . He is the author of a novel, Beijing , also published by the Press. Robert Giard contributed photos of sixteen of the writers interviewed.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gambone, an award-winning essayist, journalist, and fiction writer, has had many occasions over the years to interview significant gay male fiction writers, and 21 of his interviews, previously published in periodicals or aired on radio, are gathered here. It's a very useful compilation; Gambone chose interviewees whom he knew would talk openly. He elicits from them animated, revealing, and even warm answers to his questions about their writing lives; eschewing gossipy topics, he sticks to literary matters, particularly opinions of, and notions of their own place in, the gay literary movement, which, as compiler Gambone explains in his introduction, began to fully blossom in the late 1970s with the publication of the seminal novels Dancer from the Dance by Andrew Holleran and Faggots by Larry Kramer. It's easy to insist that any interview has given you a sense of the person interviewed, but it's a definite, true sense here. Readers and writers, too, may learn from these glowingly articulate men. --Brad Hooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

A welcome compilation of interviews Gambone has conducted with 21 gay writers since 1987, this collection amounts to a compelling portrait gallery of many influential figures. Gambone's knowledge of each writer's work and his sensitivity to the craft is impressive. While consciously eschewing "literary gossip," his carefully probing interviews provide insight into the working methods and aesthetic, personal and social concerns of a varied group, including such well-known writers as Edmund White and Andrew Holleran, as well as those who emerged in the late 1980s and 1990s, including Alan Hollinghurst, Randall Kenan and Scott Heim. Presented in roughly chronological order by date of interview, the book amounts to a broad overview of the "breathlessly rapid" development of gay fiction and its themes, from early coming-out novels (such as Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story) to more complex visions of a world in which gay people are no unhappier than other people. Many of the writers stress how important it is for them to feel the freedom to depict their world honestly. There are also some provocative juxtapositions, in which authors reflect on (and in the notable case of Dennis Cooper, vehemently reject) the work of their contemporaries. Here's hoping that Gambone is at work on volume two. Photos not seen by PW. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Gambone (The Language We Use Up Here, LJ 6/15/91) conducted the interviews collected here from 1987 to 1998 with a virtual who's who of late 20th-century gay literati: Edmund White, Christopher Bram, Andrew Holleran, David Plante, and the late John Preston, to name only five of these 21 authors. Gambone, himself a talented journalist and essayist, clearly did his homework going into the interviews, and his subjects' responses are thoughtful and articulate. Somehow, though, interviewer and interviewees ultimately emerge as perfunctory and superficial, and aside from the occasional morsel of wit or insight, there is little here to suggest that these men are collectively responsible for some of the wittiest and most sensual English-language prose of the last quarter century. One concludes that they reserve their artistic powers for their work. A promising concept not fully realized, this is an optional purchase for all but the most comprehensive gay literature and gay studies collections.ÄRichard Violette, Special Libraries Cataloging, Inc., Victoria, BC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.