For gay books, 2007 was the best
of times and the worst of times. Setbacks in the gay publishing industry did
not keep good gay books from being published or good gay writers from doing
what they do best, but several gay publishers and one gay book club went, or
are going, out of business.
Here are the literary highs and
lows of the year along with our choices for the author of the year, the top
five books of the year and other assorted honors passed out with bright, shiny
Author of the Year
Entertainment Weekly recently named J. K. Rowling its Entertainer
of the Year, no surprise considering the huge success of Rowling’s Harry Potter
books. Almost as famous within the gay book world is Armistead Maupin, the
beloved author of the Tales of the City
series. This year Maupin came back strong with his seventh Tales of the City
volume, Michael Tolliver Lives
(although Maupin really doesn’t consider it a Tales sequel).
It is the
present-day story of Tales’ Michael
Tolliver, now a 54-year old gardener and AIDS survivor. MTL allows us to catch up with other characters from the Tales series and introduces us to some
new ones, including Michael’s much younger lover. For bringing the much beloved
Michael and his friends back, we name Armistead Maupin our Gay Author of the
The Top Five Books of the Year
As you’ll read below, many good
gay books were published in 2007. Picking only five is difficult, not to
mention arbitrary, but here are our five.
1. All: A
James Broughton Reader (White Crane Press).
2. Call Me
By Your Name by André Aciman (Farrar, Straus & Giroux).
Child by Sarah Schulman (Carroll & Graf).
Artists In Modern American Culture: An Imagined Conspiracy by Michael
of North Carolina Press).
5. Man to
Man: A History of Gay Photography by Pierre Borhan (Vendome Press).
Best Gay News of the Year: Dumbledore is Gay!
century, J.K. Rowling caused a post-publication stir last October when she told
a Carnegie Hall audience that Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of the Hogwarts
School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, is gay. Rowling’s post-publication revelation
surprised many, since Dumbledore’s sexual orientation was never mentioned in
any of the Potter books (though there were those readers who suspected).
In a world where most books,
plays, movies, television shows and music videos are 100% heterosexual, it is
refreshing that Rowling allows the existence of homosexuality in her literary
universe. And the impact of having the author of the bestselling book of 2007 –
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
– put her stamp of approval on gay characters in children’s literature is hard
to underestimate. Best of all, the news also validated many LGBT Potter fans
and upset a fair few of the bigots. What’s not to love about that?