Cover image for Who's who in lesbian and gay writing
Who's who in lesbian and gay writing
Griffin, Gabriele.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Routledge, [2002]

Physical Description:
xiii, 226 pages ; 24 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ75.13 .G75 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



Who's Who in Lesbian and Gay Writingis a lively and accessible biographical guide to lesbian and gay literary culture, from Sappho to modern pulp fiction. Featuring authors of works with lesbian or gay content as well as known lesbian and gay writers, this volume opens the boundaries of this field to include the writers of popular cultural fiction. It places these alongside the canon of poets, dramatists and novelists, to acknowledge the importance of pop culture to gay and lesbian communities. It includes fascinating entries on authors from W.H. Auden to Alice Walker, James Baldwin to Virginia Woolf. Also included are those such as Judith Butler who have theorised lesbian and gay culture and writing, or have contributed to the uncovering and charting of this vibrant literary history. Fully cross referenced, and with suggestions for further reading, this book offers an invaluable guide to a rich and varied literary culture and is indispensable for anyone with an interest in lesbian and gay writing.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The title of this work conjures up the image of a compendium of authors, subjects, and publishers who happen to be gay or lesbian. It may also bring to mind people who are predominantly English speaking. Griffin realized that the contemporary development of lesbian and gay culture has been uneven, at best, across countries and continents, and with this work, she has attempted to level that ground. More than 400 alphabetical entries range in length from several sentences to an entire page. Although the majority of the writers are from the U.K. and the U.S., many countries are represented, including Canada, Cuba, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and Portugal. The majority of the individuals lived and wrote during the past 150 years, with a smattering of biographies before the late 1800s, such as British poet Richard Barnfield (1574^-1627) and Sappho, from the sixth century B.C.E. Griffin uses the phrase "lesbian and gay writing" to refer to "texts with a lesbian and/or gay content" and "texts written by writers who identify publicly as lesbian and gay, or who are known to be lesbian or gay." That stated, it may be noted that not all individuals seem to fit these criteria. Eleanor Roosevelt is one example. This volume may be of value in undergraduate libraries and in medium-sized to large public libraries with a significant lesbian and gay collection. Some of the same writers are covered in The Gay and Lesbian Literary Heritage [RBB S 15 02], which has thematic as well as biographical entries.Reference Books in Brief

Library Journal Review

The rerelease of The Gay & Lesbian Literary Heritage-published in 1995 by Holt-is to be celebrated for at least bringing back into print this best-ever, single-volume reference on the subject. Summers (English, Univ. of Michigan) presents both biographical and topical entries with an international scope, though the emphasis is on American and English literature. The writing is informative but also provocative, critical and yet consistently accurate and inclusive in the selection of works discussed. Unfortunately, of more than 380 entries, just 32 are new, and very few of the others have been revised or had their bibliographies updated. Allen Ginsberg's entry now has a death date and one new citation, but the text is untouched; the nine-column entry on AIDS literature, which previously delineated the most significant works year by year through 1994, adds just two scant paragraphs on the last seven years while revising none of the earlier text; and the entry on opera remains unchanged, thereby failing to note recent operas that for the first time deal overtly with gay themes (e.g., Stewart Wallace's Harvey Milk and Carla Lucero's Wuornos). Libraries that don't own the first edition or have worn it out should purchase this topnotch work despite the flaws, but those that still have the original can wait and hope for a fuller update. Presenting biographical entries on nearly 450 writers, Who's Who in Lesbian & Gay Writing differs from most of the previous two dozen titles in Routledge's series, which deal with historical figures or fictional characters (e.g., the Old Testament, the Greek world, military history). The significance of this distinction becomes clear when reading Griffin's entries, which are crammed with facts but offer little literary analysis. The entries lack the citations to critical secondary sources that one might expect in a who's who of writers as well as lists of significant publications, forcing Griffin to enumerate book titles and publication years in the text proper. She further dulls the text by emphasizing the names and dates of personal relationships over the qualities of the authors' writing. To be fair, one encyclopedist could not be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of so many writers in the way that a biblical scholar might be able to expatiate on the personages of the Old Testament. The book is most successful in its selection of worthy subjects, something Griffin notes can be particularly problematic given the contested sexuality of some writers. The choices are all the more admirable given the book's breadth, encompassing writers from all places and all periods. Still, most of the subjects here can already be found in other sources, making the only justification for this publication a resounding emphasis on the homosexual slant of an author's life or work-an approach Griffin loses among the minutiae of mundane facts. Recommended only for large subject collections.-Eric Bryant, "Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. vii
Acknowledgementsp. xiii

p. 1


p. 10


p. 34


p. 49


p. 66


p. 69


p. 81


p. 92


p. 102


p. 105


p. 109


p. 114


p. 124


p. 145


p. 149


p. 151


p. 162


p. 173


p. 196


p. 201


p. 202


p. 206


p. 221


p. 223

Further Readingp. 225