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Keith Hale succeeded where many had failed when he convinced the Rupert Brooke Trust to allow him to edit a collection of the poet's letters that had been sealed for eighty years due to their homosexual themes. That edition, Friends and Apostles, was published by Yale University Press. Hale's first two books also were groundbreaking: His novel Clicking Beat on the Brink of Nada, first published in the Netherlands and immediately banned in the United Kingdom during Margaret Thatcher's Operation Tiger, remains unique in its treatment of teen homosexuality, socialism, and existentialism. Hale also published the first and only account of gay life in the Balkans before the walls of Communism crumbled in his travelogue In the Land of Alexander. A fourth book, Torn Allegiances, deals with gays in the military. Hale also has published essays on Dickens, Rumi, Sa'di, Hafiz, David Garnett, and gay Philippine literature.
I think the GLBT novel that sticks in my mind is “Clicking Beat On The Brink Of Nada”, by Keith Hale. Because oh, my gosh that book just took my breath away. I read that, probably, before I was published. Maybe even before I decided to write. It does show up prominently in that first chapter of my first book, “Crossing Borders”, where the character Tristan is trying to get picked up at a bookstore. It may even be the reason I write. I guess I had a simple desire to eradicate the literary presumption that being GLBT means you end up miserable in the end, alone, or insane or eaten by cannibals or something. Jeez. I kept thinking about my kids, and how I’d want them represented in books if they were gay. (Jury’s still out on that BTW, because they’re young) There are all those young adult books about falling in love and being asked to prom and living happily ever after. I thought, “BLEEP this”. I need to write a romance for kids who are feeling same gender attraction where the boy gets the boy or the girl gets the girl at the end and it’s a GOOD THING. --Z.A. Maxfield
Further Readings:

Clicking Beat on the Brink of Nada by Keith Hale
Paperback: 190 pages
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (February 19, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 141965991X
ISBN-13: 978-1419659911
Amazon: Clicking Beat on the Brink of Nada

By turns funny, romantic, erotic, and sad, Clicking Beat on the Brink of Nada is an evocative novel brilliantly that recreates the landscape of late adolescence, when friendships seem eternal and loves reincarnate. Set in Arkansas but first published in The Netherlands, Clicking Beat on the Brink of Nada quickly won praise from reviewers and readers across Europe and North America and caught the attention of William S. Burroughs, Jonathan Williams, and other writers who befriended the young author (Hale began writing the novel when he was sixteen). The first two American editions were published under the title Cody and featured a back cover blurb written by Burroughs.

Friends and Apostles: The Correspondence of Rupert Brooke and James Strachey, 1905-1914 by Dr. Keith Hale
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Yale University Press (December 11, 1998)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0300070047
ISBN-13: 978-0300070040
Amazon: Friends and Apostles: The Correspondence of Rupert Brooke and James Strachey, 1905-1914

The correspondance between the poet Rupert Brooke (1887-1915) and his friend James Strachey, later the primary English translator of the works of Sigmund Freud, appears in print for the first time in Friends and Apostles. These various letters - often irreverent, sometimes humorous, and so revealing that Brook's literary executors long resisted their publication, illuminate one of the last pieces of the complex puzzle of Brooke's life. Brooke wrote more frequently to Strachey than to anyone other than his mother, and was more candid than in letters to others in which he often assumed a variety of carefully constructed poses. Friends from boyhood, Brooke and Strachey were undergraduates at Cambridge when James fell in love with his handsome, charming companion. As well as their shared interest in politics, literature, art, and theatre, the letters deal often and explicitly with the subject of homosexuality and with the sometimes scandalous activities of many of their close circle. Brook and Strachey compare observations of fellow members of the exclusive Cambridge "Apostles", of mutual Bloomsbury friends, and of such fellow Fabian Socialists as Hugh Grant and Beatrice Webb. The correspondance provides biographical, psychological and cultural insights into Rupert Brooke and his poetry, and reveals the complexities of the man behind the heroic legend that his early death inspired.

Hale is currently Associate Professor at University of Wisconsin, Platteville, with specialization in English education, gay studies, young adult literature, the teaching of composition, modern British and American literature, Filipino literature.

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