LGBTQI Reads

A Boy's Own Story

This book features in our Read the Rainbow Guide

With an introduction by Alan Hollinghurst.

It was his power that stupefied me and made me regard my knowledge as nothing more than hired cleverness he might choose to show off at a dinner party.A Boy's Own Story traces an unnamed narrator's coming-of-age during the 1950s.

Beset by aloof parents, a cruel sister, and relentless mocking from his peers, the boy struggles with his sexuality, seeking consolation in art and literature, and in his own fantastic imagination as he fills his head with romantic expectations.

The result is a book of exquisite poignancy and humour that moves towards a conclusion which will allow the boy to leave behind his childhood forever.Originally published in 1982 as the first of Edmund White's trilogy of autobiographical novels, A Boy's Own Story became an instant classic for its pioneering portrayal of homosexuality. Lyrical and powerfully evocative, this is an American literary treasure.

PRAISE FOR A BOY'S OWN STORY

"With A Boy's Own Story, American literature is larger by one classic novel." The Washington Post

"Edmund White has crossed J. D. Salinger with Oscar Wilde to create an extraordinary novel" The New York Times Book Review

"Every so often a novel comes along that is so ambitious in its intention and so confident of its voice that it reminds us what a singular and potent thing a novel can be. One of these is A Boy's Own Story" San Francisco Chronicle

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
28/06/2016
16%
OFF
RRP  $22.99 $19.54
The City And The Pillar

This book features in our Read the Rainbow Guide

Jim Willard, former high-school athlete and clean-cut boy-next-door-, is haunted by the memory of a romanctic adolescent encounter with his friend Bob Ford.

As Jim pursues his first love, in awe of the very same masculinity he possesses himself, his progresss through the secret gay world of 1940's America unveils surreptitious Hollywood affairs, the hidden life of the military in the Second World War and the underworld bar culture of New York City.

With the publication of his daring thrid novel The City and the Pillar in 1948, Gore Vidal shocked the American public, which has just begun to hail him as their newest and brightest young writer. It remains not only an authentic and profoundly importatnt social document but also a serious exploration of the nature of idealistic love.

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20/06/1997
17%
OFF
RRP  $23.99 $19.98
Becoming Westerly

This book features in our Read the Rainbow Guide

The incredible true story of Peter Drouyn and his amazing journey from life as a heartthrob champion surfer to the woman he always believed he was meant to be: Westerly Windina.

'Peter was always looking for a princess, he wanted to find his princess. Unfortunately, the princess was me. I'm the princess that Peter always wanted but never met.' - Westerly Windina

'Westerly's affection for Peter comes in many guises. Most of the time it's wistful and forlorn. When she talks about his awkwardness, his pretending to be something he was not, she sounds like a mother remembering her deceased child.' Jamie Brisick, from Becoming Westerly

Peter Drouyn was a champion surfer with a touch of genius who forever changed the face of surfing by introducing the concept of the man-on-man competition format. Known for his aggressive yet elegant style on the wave, Drouyn was also a lawyer, heartthrob actor and showman extraordinaire, famous for his eccentric behaviour and ambitious ideas.

For nearly a decade now, Peter Drouyn has been living as a woman, Westerly Windina. The surfing community is at once awestruck, sceptical and supportive. As one renowned surf journalist put it, 'Is this Peter's greatest performance ever?' In a recent issue of Surfing World, surfers voted Peter/Westerly 'the most interesting surfer in the world'. And the world is taking notice.

Beginning with her 2012 trip to Bangkok for gender reassignment surgery, Becoming Westerly retraces Peter Drouyn's odyssey from teenage Queensland hopeful to 1960s global surfing sensation to embittered, middle-age has-been to the phoenix-like, glamorous, sixty-four-year-old Westerly. As Westerly herself notes, 'It was like a Supernova. It just kicked in one night and, bang, Peter was gone and Westerly was there.

Part biography, part memoir, part documentary, part saga, Becoming Westerly is as much an exploration of surf culture and Australian society as it is of sexual identity. But most of all it is a portrait of two extraordinary people in one, and a very personal account of the courage and self-belief it has taken for Peter to become Westerly.

Jamie Brisick is the author of Roman and Williams Buildings & Interiors: Things We Made (Rizzoli, 2012), The Eighties at Echo Beach (Chronicle, 2011), Have Board, Will Travel: The Definitive History of Surf, Skate and Snow (HarperCollins, 2004), and We Approach Our Martinis with Such High Expectations (Consafos Press, 2002). He is presently Global Editor of Huck, a U.K.-based surf/skate/snow magazine. He was previously Executive Editor of Surfing, the most widely read surf magazine in the world. His journalism has appeared in The New York Times, Details, The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Surfer's Journal. In 2008 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study and write about youth culture in Japan.

Format:
Book
Publication Date:
01/02/2015
17%
OFF
RRP  $29.99 $25.18
Reckoning

This book features in our Read the Rainbow Guide

The multi-award-winning memoir of one of Australia's most loved performers

Heartbreaking, joyous, traumatic, intimate and revelatory, Reckoning is the book where Magda Szubanski, one of Australia’s most beloved performers, tells her story.

In this extraordinary memoir, Magda describes her journey of self-discovery from a suburban childhood, haunted by the demons of her father’s espionage activities in wartime Poland and by her secret awareness of her sexuality, to the complex dramas of adulthood and her need to find out the truth about herself and her family. With courage and compassion she addresses her own frailties and fears, and asks the big questions about life, about the shadows we inherit and the gifts we pass on.

Honest, poignant, utterly captivating, Reckoning announces the arrival of a fearless writer and natural storyteller. It will touch the lives of its readers.

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
01/08/2016
22%
OFF
RRP  $32.99 $25.78
What Days Are For

This book features in our Read the Rainbow Guide

One Sunday night in Sydney, Robert Dessaix collapses in a gutter in Darlinghurst, and is helped to his hotel by a kind young man wearing a T-shirt that says FUCK YOU.

What follows are weeks in hospital, tubes and cannulae puncturing his body, as he recovers from the heart attack threatening daily to kill him. While lying in the hospital bed, Robert chances upon Philip Larkin s poem "Days." What, he muses, have his days been for?

What and who has he loved and why?

This is vintage Robert Dessaix. His often surprisingly funny recollections range over topics as eclectic as intimacy, travel, spirituality, enchantment, language, and childhood, all woven through with a heightened sense of mortality.

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
01/10/2015
17%
OFF
RRP  $19.99 $16.67
Holding the Man

This book features in our Read the Rainbow Guide

'A monumentally loved book... [and] an Australian classic.' - Benjamin Law

The mid-seventies: at an all-boys Catholic school in Melbourne, Timothy Conigrave falls wildly and sweetly in love with the captain of the football team. So begins a relationship that weathers disapproval, separation and, ultimately, death. With honesty and insight, Holding the Man explores the highs and lows of any partnership, and the strength of heart both men have to find when they test positive to HIV.

This is a book as refreshing and uplifting as it is moving; a funny and sad and celebratory account of growing up gay.

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
30/07/2015
16%
OFF
RRP  $22.99 $19.53
Take Me to Paris, Johnny

This book features in our Read the Rainbow Guide

Take Me to Paris, Johnny is John Foster's moving yet unsentimental account of the life of his partner, Juan Céspedes.

It traces Juan's youth in Cuba and his move to New York, where he struggles to make it as a dancer. There, in 1981—in 'a chance encounter, much like any other'—he meets John, an Australian historian.

What begins as just a fling becomes a dazzling six-year affair. The two travel between New York, Berlin and Melbourne, struggling with bureaucracy in their quest to gain Juan residency in Australia, then with the disease taking the lives of gay men around the globe. To the end, Juan—'an exotic bird, the only one of his kind' in Melbourne—is captivating, witty, headstrong.

First published in 1993, not long before John Foster's death, Take Me to Paris, Johnny is brilliant and unflinching, at once controlled and impassioned: a love story told with humour and unerring skill. This edition includes an introduction by Peter Craven and an expanded biographical portrait of the author by John Rickard.

' A literary masterpiece…Unparalleled in Australian letters…Makes most fiction, here or elsewhere, look paltry by comparison.' - Peter Craven, from the Introduction

'Brilliantly accomplished use of language…Few other books documenting this illness rumble and resonate with such sustained power.' - Robert Dessaix

About the Author
John Foster was born in Melbourne in 1944. He studied at the University of Melbourne, then in Germany and the United Kingdom. In 1971 he returned to the University of Melbourne, where for many years he lectured in the Department of History. He edited the collections Community of Fate: Memoirs of German Jews in Melbourne (1986) and Victorian Picturesque: The Colonial Gardens of William Sangster (1989). Take Me to Paris, Johnny was Foster's tribute to his lover, Juan Cespedes, a Cuban dancer who died of AIDS in 1987. The memoir was published in 1993 and shortlisted for the Age Book of the Year award; within a year, John Foster himself was dead.

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
27/04/2016
12%
OFF
RRP  $12.95 $11.44
Patrick White

This book features in our Read the Rainbow Guide

Patrick White, winner of the Nobel Prize and author of more than a dozen novels and plays - including Voss, The Vivisector and The Twyborn Affair - lived an extraordinary life.

David Marr's brilliant biography draws not only on a wide range of original research but also on the single most difficult and important source of all: the man himself. In the weeks before his death, White read the final manuscript, which for richness of detail, authority and balance is stunning.

Throughout his exciting narrative, Marr explores the roots of White's writing and unearths the raw material of his remarkable art. He makes plain the central fact of White's life as an artist: the homosexuality that formed his view of himself as an outcast and stranger able to penetrate the hearts of both men and women.

Gracefully written and exhaustively researched, Patrick White is a biography of classic excellence - sympathetic, objective, penetrating and as blunt, when necessary, as White himself.

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
01/04/2008
  $19.99
Gaysia: Adventures In The Queer East

This book features in our Read the Rainbow Guide

Benjamin Law considers himself pretty lucky to live in Australia: he can hold his boyfriend's hand in public and lobby his politicians to recognise same-sex marriage. As the child of migrants, though, he also wonders how different life might have been had he grown up elsewhere. So off he sets to meet his fellow Gaysians.

Law takes his investigative duties seriously, baring all in Balinese nudist resorts and taking Indian yoga classes designed to cure his homosexuality. The characters he meets - from Tokyo's celebrity drag queens to HIV-positive Burmese sex workers, from Malaysian ex-gay Christian fundamentalists to Thai ladyboy beauty contestants - all teach him something new about being queer in Asia.

At once hilarious and moving, Gaysia traces a fascinating quest by a leading Australian writer.

'a terrific read ...... gonzo anthropology and great storytelling' - John Safran

'one of the most surprising and entertaining voices in Australian nonfiction writing ...... Gaysia is a book of powerful, enlightening stories on a fraught topic, told with care, empathy, grace and good humour.' - The Australian

'often thought-provoking in a refreshingly upbeat way' - Robert Dessaix, The Monthly

'Benjamin Law is funny and honest and handsome - Gaysia is a delightful, occasionally confronting adventure.' - Josh Thomas

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
19/06/2013
17%
OFF
RRP  $19.99 $16.67
A Single Man

This book features in our Read the Rainbow Guide

Celebrated as a masterpiece from its first publication, A Single Man is the story of George Falconer, an English professor in suburban California left heartbroken after the death of his lover, Jim.

With devastating clarity and humour, Christopher Isherwood shows George's determination to carry on, evoking the unexpected pleasures of life as well as the soul's ability to triumph over loneliness and alienation.

Christopher Isherwood (1904–1986) was one of the most celebrated writers of his generation. He left Cambridge without graduating, briefly studied medicine and then turned to writing his first novels, All the Conspirators and The Memorial. He spent four years in Berlin writing Mr Norris Changes Trains and Goodbye to Berlin on which the musical Cabaret was based, and then in 1939 moved to America. He became a US citizen in 1946, where he wrote another five novels including A Single Man, a travel book and a biography of the Indian mystic Ramakrishna. In the 1960s and ‘70s he turned to autobiographical works: Kathleen and Frank, Christopher and His Kind and October, one month of his diary with drawings by Don Bachardy.

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
02/08/2010
59%
OFF
RRP  $26.99 $11.12
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

This book features in our Read the Rainbow Guide

In 1985 Jeanette Winterson's first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, was published. It was Jeanette's version of the story of a terraced house in Accrington, an adopted child, and the thwarted giantess Mrs Winterson. It was a cover story, a painful past written over and repainted. It was a story of survival.

This book is that story's the silent twin. It is full of hurt and humour and a fierce love of life. It is about the pursuit of happiness, about lessons in love, the search for a mother and a journey into madness and out again. It is generous, honest and true.

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
01/05/2012
15%
OFF
RRP  $19.99 $17.11
Our Young Man

#12: Our Young Man

 
4/5 Rating 1 Reviews

This book features in our Read the Rainbow Guide

New York City in the eighties, and at its decadent heart is Guy.

Guy is taking on the fashion world and fast becoming the darling of the Fire Island's gay community. Cuddly yet depraved Fred; Andre, dealing in stolen paintings and hurtling towards prison and the abyss; Pierre-Georges, adept with acerbic asides and knowing lectures: they are all in some way fixated on Guy.

And Guy, Dorian Gray-like, never ageing. Still modelling at thirty-five, still enjoying lavish, expensive gifts from those older men who all believe he's far younger, Guy lets them believe - until he finds his way of life is destroying the men he loves.

In some of the richest representations of gay male identity from the disco era to the age of AIDS, this exquisite novel explores the power of physical beauty - to fascinate, to enslave and to deceive - with sparkling wit and pathos. Fizzily immediate, artfully accomplished and a work of comic genius, it is an exquisite novel from a contemporary master.

Featured in our Queer Reading Guide

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
25/05/2016
38%
OFF
RRP  $27.99 $17.37
Orlando: Popular Penguins

This book features in our Read the Rainbow Guide

Orlando, deciding not to grow old, pursues his quest for passion, adventure, fulfilment and protracted youth. Chasing a dream through the centuries, he bounds from Elizabethan England and imperial Turkey to the modern world. Will he find happiness with the exotic Russian Princess Sasha? Or is the dashing explorer Shelmerdine the ideal man?

And what form will Orlando take on the journey - a nobleman, gypsy, writer? Man or...woman?

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
29/08/2011
12%
OFF
RRP  $12.99 $11.47
Maurice

This book features in our Read the Rainbow Guide

Maurice Hall is a young man who grows up confident in his privileged status and well aware of his role in society. Modest and generally conformist, he nevertheless finds himself increasingly attracted to his own sex.

Through Clive, whom he encounters at Cambridge, and through Alec, the gamekeeper on Clive's country estate, Maurice gradually experiences a profound emotional and sexual awakening.

A tale of passion, bravery and defiance, this intensely personal novel was completed in 1914 but remained unpublished until after Forster's death in 1970. Compellingly honest and beautifully written, it offers a powerful condemnation of the repressive attitudes of British society, and is at once a moving love story and an intimate tale of one man's erotic and political self-discovery.

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
30/09/2005
17%
OFF
RRP  $19.99 $16.67
Merciless Gods

This book features in our Read the Rainbow Guide

Love, sex, death, family, friendship, betrayal, tenderness, sacrifice and revelation...

This incendiary collection of stories from acclaimed writer Christos Tsiolkas takes you deep into worlds both strange and familiar, and introduces you to characters that will haunt you long after you have turned the final page.

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
04/08/2016
25%
OFF
RRP  $26.99 $20.45
The Hours

This book features in our Read the Rainbow Guide

Winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize and Pen Faulkner prize.

Made into an Oscar-winning film, The Hours is a daring and deeply affecting novel inspired by the life and work of Virginia Woolf.

In 1920s London, Virginia Woolf is fighting against her rebellious spirit as she attempts to make a start on her new novel. A young wife and mother, broiling in a suburb of 1940s Los Angeles, yearns to escape and read her precious copy of 'Mrs Dalloway'.

And Clarissa Vaughan steps out of her smart Greenwich village apartment in 1990s New York to buy flowers for a party she is hosting for a dying friend.

Moving effortlessly across the decades and between England and America, this exquisite novel intertwines the stories of three unforgettable women.

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
01/11/1999
17%
OFF
RRP  $19.99 $16.67
Giovanni's Room

This book features in our Read the Rainbow Guide

When David meets the sensual Giovanni in a bohemian bar, he is swept into a passionate love affair. But his girlfriend's return to Paris destroys everything.

Unable to admit to the truth, David pretends the liaison never happened - while Giovanni's life descends into tragedy. United by the theme of love, the writings in the Great Loves series span over two thousand years and vastly different worlds.

Readers will be introduced to love's endlessly fascinating possibilities and extremities: romantic love, platonic love, erotic love, gay love, virginal love, adulterous love, parental love, filial love, nostalgic love, unrequited love, illicit love, not to mention lost love, twisted and obsessional love...

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
01/10/2007
  $16.75
Call Me By Your Name

The film tie-in edition to the already highly acclaimed Luca Guadagnino-directed film of one of the great love stories of our time.

Call Me By Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blooms between seventeen-year-old Elio and his father's house guest Oliver during a restless summer on the Italian Riviera.

Unrelenting currents of obsession and fear, fascination and desire threaten to overwhelm the lovers who at first feign indifference to the charge between them. What grows from the depths of their souls is a romance of scarcely six weeks' duration, and an experience that marks them for a lifetime.

For what the two discover on the Riviera and during a sultry evening in Rome is the one thing they both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
21/09/2017
15%
OFF
RRP  $19.99 $17.11
At Swim, Two Boys

This book features in our Read the Rainbow Guide

A truly original - and utterly compulsive - novel, reminiscent of MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN and A SUITABLE BOY for its scope and vitality.

Set in Dublin and its near surrounds AT SWIM, TWO BOYS follows the turbulent year to Easter 1916. At its core it tells the love of two boys, Jim, a naive and reticent scholar, the younger son of foolish, aspirant shopkeeper Mr Mack, and Doyler, the dark rough diamond son of Mr Mack's old army pal.

Out at the Forty Foot, that great jut of rock where gentlemen bathe in the scandalous nude, the two boys meet day after day. There they make a pact: that Doyler will teach Jim to swim, and in a year, they will swim the bay to the distant beacon of the Muglins rock, to raise the Green and claim it for themselves.

As Ireland sets forth towards her uncertain glory there unfolds a love story of the utmost tenderness, carrying the reader through the turbulence of the times like a full blown sail.

AT SWIM, TWO BOYS is written with great verve and mastery. It shares those elements that are the marks of all great books - the breadth of its canvas, the skill of its brush, the intensity of its subjects and, above all, the shining light of its humanity.

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
01/07/2002
16%
OFF
RRP  $22.99 $19.53
Finding Nevo

#20: Finding Nevo

 
5/5 Rating 1 Reviews

This book features in our Read the Rainbow Guide

Meet Nevo: girl, boy, he, she, him, her, they, them, daughter, son, teacher, student, friend, gay, bi, lesbian, trans, homo, Jew, dyke, masculine, feminine, androgynous, queer.

Nevo was not born in the wrong body. Nevo just wants everyone to catch up with all that Nevo is.

Personal, political and passionate, Finding Nevo is an autobiography about gender and everything that comes with it.

Ages: 14+

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
01/05/2017
31%
OFF
RRP  $18.99 $13.29

More Great LGBTQI Reads