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 )