Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Literature

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Literature

A Genre Guide

Book - 2008
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Contents: Introduction
History of gay and lesbian literature
Collection development and readers' advisory
General fiction
Coming out
HIV/AIDS and other health issues
Historical fiction
Science fiction
Horror fiction
Mystery and crime
Comics and graphic novels
Life stories : biography, autobiography, and memoirs
Publisher: Westport, Conn. : Libraries Unlimited, 2008
Branch Call Number: 016.8108092 B
Characteristics: xiii, 422 p. ; 26 cm
ISBN: 9781591581949


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teacupfaerie Aug 16, 2011

This genre guide fills an information gap for adult Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered (GLBT) Literature. It starts with an excellent explanation of the methods used to select the books, as well as a succinct explanation of the sub-genres contained within. The genre is broken down into the subgenres of Classics, General Fiction, Coming Out, HIV/AIDS, Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Comics and Graphic Novels, Drama, and Life Stories. In short, there is something for everyone.
The books were selected from lists of award winners, as well as popular books put forth by the general population. Books by GLBT authors are included as well as books with GLBT content. For example, a more surprising inclusion was “Moby Dick” for its gay undertones and metaphorical content.
There is a history of GLBT literature and its publishers, as well as mention of the different associations concerned with this topic. Outlined in each sub-genre are the collection development issues inherent in this body of literature. These include basic issues from Library of Congress subject headings being inadequate to how to deal with a range of fundamental issues. The guide has a good synopsis of a wide variety of books, which also includes a system of identification for which audience the material would be most geared to. This is broken down into GLBT sections, but also has a teen designation for those resources that would be suitable as well for that age group. In some of the title synopsis’s there is also a literacy level comment, such as whether that novel would be of interest to a reluctant adult reader or a more mature young adult reader.
There is an extensive bibliography at the end containing websites for associations, journals, and further resources. The index is searchable by title, subject, and author. In all, it is a comprehensive resource on the topic.
The guide would be best utilized in a public library for reader’s advisory and collection development. Academic libraries would also be able to use this resource for those doing research on the history of GLBT literature. There are many things that recommend this book, and the most useful is the frank commentary on the positives and negatives in each listed book. The synopsis of each title usually includes a comment such as “not for the faint-hearted” or warns of a less than positive ending for the main characters. This genre of literature has a dark history where in the early years most homosexual individuals met with an extremely bad end. This is compared with the current more positive portrayal of GLBT individuals. It would be a big reader’s advisory disaster to recommend a dark bad ending novel to a patron looking for a good light read.

In summery, this is a good, solid reference book that should be included in any professional collection and used frequently.


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