In the immediate post-World War II era, a group of gay writers—notably, Truman Capote, Gore Vidal, Tennessee Williams, James Baldwin, and Allen Ginsberg—established themselves as major cultural figures in America and set the stage for others, such as Edmund White, Armistead Maupin, and Tony Kushner.
Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers Who Changed America, by Christopher Bram, chronicles 50 years of cultural change through the lives and work of gay writers who shaped and wrote about it—showing how the story of these men is crucial to understanding the social and cultural history of the American 20th century.
“Before World War II, homosexuality was a dirty secret that was almost never written about and rarely discussed,” writes Bram, who teaches writing at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. “Suddenly, after the war, a handful of homosexual writers boldly used their personal experience in their work. They were surprisingly open at first, then grew more circumspect after being attacked by critics and journalists. But they were followed by other writers who built on what they had initiated. The world was changing and the new authors could be more open; their openness produced further change.”
Bram has authored Father of Frankenstein, the inspiration for the film Gods and Monsters, and eight other novels.