Cover image for Unlimited embrace : a canon of gay fiction, 1945-1995
Unlimited embrace : a canon of gay fiction, 1945-1995
Woodhouse, Reed, 1949-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
x, 338 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS374.H63 W66 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In this text a gay literary critic evaluates a half-century of fictional works by, for and about homosexual men and situates them in the context of an emerging American gay culture. It attempts to show how the best gay fiction of the period both reflected and anticipated social changes.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

This stunningly good book is an example of literary criticism of the old style‘an arguments for what is good and not so good‘applied to a field that, although in its infancy, has suffered from a surfeit of theory and a dearth of true criticism. With barely a trace of the recent academic jargon, Woodhouse (English, MIT) combines extraordinary erudition with a personal style in arguing for works that "are central to the project of gay (male) fiction in the postwar period." Although his range of literary reference is extraordinary, his choices for a canon are based as much on subject and political stance as style. He divides gay fiction, loosely, into works that represent or depict assimilation and those (which he clearly prefers) that embody a distinctive gay identity. His canon, therefore, includes Boyd McDonald as well as Edmund White but excludes David Leavitt (a "nice narcissist" whose fiction exhibits "a generalized fear of experience"). Woodhouse's close and extremely perceptive readings of works by White, Isherwood, Andrew Holleran, Gore Vidal, Larry Kramer, and many more need to be read by anyone with a serious interest in American gay male literature. For all graduate and upper-level undergraduate collections.‘Robert W. Melton, Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.