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Born November 9, 1937, Lynn Hall grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and Des Moines and spent her childhood escaping into the horse and dog books from her local library. After having a variety of jobs such as dog trainer, secretary and ad agency writer, she found herself writing the same sort of horse and dog stories she had loved as a child.

She has become a highly prolific and award winning author. Many of her stories are unusual, some with a supernatural element, others exploring complex and weighty issues not normally tackled in the sphere of the pony book. Many of her pony stories are also aimed at older teenagers, making them ideal reads for the adult pony book reader. As such, romance and adult issues are often part of her stories.

If I had not come across Lynn Hall‘s book when I was struggling to define my own sexuality, I might not have survived to write this essay of my own experiences. In it I had Ward Alexander and the knowledge that there was someone else like me in the world; I wasn‘t the only one. Would my experience have been different if the original ending had united Tom and Ward? Not necessarily, but it would have shown me that men could commit to one another in romantic relationships built on love, trust and mutual respect. If I could return and tell my teenage self what I know now, I‘d assure him that the isolation and social ostracizing that he‘d experienced helped him become the person, and the artist, that he is today. I‘d tell him to have enough confidence to look his tormentors in the eye and say, ―I‘m gay, so what?‖ and disempower their accusations. I have told this much of my story to my youngest brother, who is coming to terms with his own sexuality. It is both a challenge and an honor to assist him where I can while allowing him the space to learn on his own.

I am astounded at how much has changed since the early 80s when I‘d first read Sticks and Stones. Literature plays such a minor role in our community now, when it used to be the primary means of uniting and informing our community. I grew up in the brief span between pulp fiction and the representation of gays and lesbians in the media at large, and certainly before the Internet allowed us to connect in ways we‘d never dreamed of. Despite those advances, kids continue to struggle with their own questions and suffer the cruelty of their peers. Gay kids are still three times more likely to attempt suicide, develop substance abuse, and run away from home. It is up to us as a community to present positive role models in young adult literature so they know they are not alone, and that there are many ways for them to grow into gay adults. --Sean Meriwether, The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered
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In his novels and short stories, plays, and critical writings, Richard Hall focused almost exclusively on issues of gay identity and community.

Hall was born Richard Hirshfeld in New York City on November 26, 1926, into an extended family of transplanted Southern Jews. In 1934, his immediate family moved to the New York suburb of White Plains, where his mother became active in the Episcopal Church and he and his sister were baptized. In 1938, after an antisemitic incident involving his sister's admission to a church-affiliated camp, Hall's mother changed their name and moved the family to another suburb.

Hall matriculated at Harvard in 1943 and graduated cum laude in January 1948. In the 1950s, he underwent deep-Freudian analysis in an attempt to change his sexual orientation but abandoned psychiatric treatment in 1960 when he fell in love with a young Texan named Dan Allen, whom he described as the greatest influence on his life.

After a career in advertising and publishing, Hall entered New York University to earn an M.A. in English Education. On graduation in 1970, he accepted a job at Inter American University in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he served as acting director of the University Press until 1974.

During the 1970s, he established a long-lasting relationship with Arthur Marceau (who died of AIDS in 1989) and began publishing fiction and nonfiction in the newly vital gay and lesbian media. From 1976 to 1982, Hall was contributing editor for books of the gay newsmagazine The Advocate. He died of complications from AIDS on October 29, 1992.

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Citation Information
Author: Summers, Claude J.
Entry Title: Hall, Richard
General Editor: Claude J. Summers
Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture
Publication Date: 2002
Date Last Updated February 28, 2004
Web Address
Publisher glbtq, Inc., 1130 West Adams, Chicago, IL 60607
Today's Date October 29, 2011
Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.
Entry Copyright © 1995, 2002 New England Publishing Associates
And then, there is the book. Couplings by Richard Hall. The edition I have was printed in 1982 (I was two years old), is in decent condition with a slightly tattered cover. It was purchased on a vacation in Palm Springs; this was the year after the Lambda Literary Foundation closed its DC offices and I was laid off. In fact, I wouldn‘t have recognized the name and title if it weren‘t for that job. In 2003, I had helped organize the last Richard Hall Memorial Short Story Contest. Richard Hall was the first openly gay critic elected to the National Book Critics Circle and the author of three collections of short stories and two novels, one published a year before he died of AIDs in 1991 at the age of 65. At work I was suddenly one of the facilitators of the Lammy Awards, my name was printed on the masthead of the Lambda Book Report. Each new fact learned, new acquaintance made, was flaunted among my college friends. This was also a much-needed wake-up call: I was not the only aspiring gay writer around. For the first time, I had to acknowledge decades of literature and history that came before me and had to learn as much of it as possible before I could ever hope to contribute on my own. --Jonathan Harper in The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered
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Paul Taylor Rogers, a writer who won the 1982 Editors' Book Award for his first novel, about the life of Times Square hustlers, was beaten to death in his Queens apartment by a 27-year-old drifter conspiring with the author's adopted son, Chris, to whom the novel was dedicated (“with my love and devotion, now and forever”). 48-year-old Paul T. Rogers, whose novel ''Saul's Book'' was well- received by reviewers and readers, was found in a closet in his apartment by the superintendent of his building at 86-05 60th Road in Rego Park. The police said he had been dead about 10 days.
Even now, 25 years after I first read it, Saul’s Book retains a certain terrible majesty. I remember buying a copy at a bookstore in Provincetown sometime in the early '80s — though whether on my first rapturous visit to that Sirens‘ Cove or my second (and last) disastrous one the following summer I can‘t properly recall. So much of the past is a painful blur. But I still have that original copy — a foxed and dog-eared Penguin paperback (the hardcover original had been published in 1982 by Pushcart Press) on whose lurid cover a young man, cigarette dangling from his mouth, looks wistfully toward a marquee advertising LIVE GAY BURLESK BOLD RASCALS XX MALE MOVIES XX. “A Times Square Hustler‘s Passionate Love Story” proclaims the book‘s own tawdry marquee. I think I bought Saul’s Book because the cover also claimed, in what seemed a forlorn stab at legitimacy, that the novel had won the first annual Editors‘ Book Award (whatever happened to that award, I wonder?). The brief biographical note described the first-time author as “a schoolteacher and a social worker,” and assured (reassured?) the curious (skeptical?) reader that “he knows firsthand the people and places found in his book.” –Paul Russell, The Lost Library
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Christopher Coe (1954 - 6 September 1994, Manhattan, NYC) was an American novelist.

Christopher Coe was born in Fountain Hill, Pennsylvania, in 1954 but moved as an infant with his family to Portland, Oregon. Intentionally vague regarding his personal history, he had claimed that, until his parents died in his teen years, "his father was the owner and administrator of a sanitorium for disturbed Eskimoes; his mother ran a charm school". Although he declined to verify the accuracy of this personal statement, such charming evasion seems suitable to a writer whose characters are drawn with detailed attention to appearance rather than subjective depth. "Inner beauty is what counts, but outer beauty is what shows," Coe had written; and the high valuation of appearance and surface given his characters is reflected in the author's style as well. Perhaps, the reader might learn as much about Coe by examining his writing; he effortlessly managed the first-person voice, the narrative mode for nearly all his work, with a credibility that suggests origins of deep personal experience.

Christopher Coe was a Columbia student of Gordon Lish’s and in the same class was Amy Hempel, David Leavitt, and Anderson Ferrell, who happen to blurb I Look Divine. While Lish was able to publish books by Hempel, Leavitt and Ferrell, he could not get approval from Gottlieb to acquire I Look Divine. Ever resourceful, Lish was instrument in getting Widenfield and Nicholson, an imprint of Houghton Miflin at the time (and a British publisher that opened a New York office in the 1980s).

Although Coe spent his early years on the West Coast, he later divided his residence between New York City and Paris. (Source: Contemporary Gay American Novelists by William Lane Clark)

Mr. Coe's first novel, "I Look Divine," was published in 1987. It is the story of Nicholas, a pathologically narcissistic homosexual, told by his older brother after Nicholas's death. In a review in The New York Times, Richard Burgin wrote that Mr. Coe was "an icy and acute observer" who had "chosen a difficult theme -- self-love -- and understands both its comedy and its tragedy."
"I wrote a long piece on Christopher Coe’s memorable AIDS-themed novel “Such Times” for Tom Cardamone’s new book “The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered”, but equally as good and as favorite is Coe’s short novel “I Look Divine”, published in 1987, a witty and luminous portrait of a rich, gifted, über narcissistic gay man who believed he was exceptional from the moment of his birth. Jet-setting across the affluent and au courant landscapes of Rome, Madrid, Mexico, and Manhattan, “I Look Divine” recounts the tragedy of Nicholas, the divinely sophisticated “affected creature” of the title, and his swift downfall when he realizes that aging has erased both his youth and beauty. As narrated by his older brother in a cleverly succinct manner, Nicholas’s life was marvelous and stylish right up to its end." --Jameson Currier
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George Baxt (June 11, 1923 – June 28, 2003) was a prolific American screenwriter and author of crime fiction, best remembered for creating the gay black detective, Pharoah Love.

George Leonard Baxt was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Russian/Jewish immigrants. After working for several years as an agent he moved to Britain in the late 1950s and began a new career as a writer for television and the cinema. His most notable screenplays include three collaborations with director Sidney Hayers noted for their taut suspense and black humour: Circus of Horrors (1960), the thriller Payroll (1961) from the novel by Derek Bickerton and Night of the Eagle (1962) which he re-wrote following a draft by Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson, though his credit was omitted from the US version which was released as Burn, Witch, Burn.

In 1966 be published A Queer Kind of Death, his first novel, which was met with considerable acclaim, not least for his creation of gay black detective Pharoah Love. The influential New York Times critic Anthony Boucher said in his review that, "This is a detective story, and unlike any other that you have read. No brief review can attempt to convey its quality. I merely note that it deals with a Manhattan subculture wholly devoid of ethics or morality, that staid readers may well find it "shocking", that it is beautifully plotted and written with elegance and wit … and that you must under no circumstances miss it." A critical analysis of the book can be found in The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered. Love would be the central figure in two immediate sequels Swing Low Sweet Harriet (1967) and Topsy and Evil (1968) and also two later novels, A Queer Kind of Love (1994) and A Queer Kind of Umbrella (1995).

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A Queer Kind of Death by George Baxt. The first book in Baxt’s Pharaoh Love detective series is really the only one to bother reading and it is certainly worth the read! Though some may be put off by the 1960's casual racist tone of some of the language, the reader must try to remember that when it was written, the notion of political correctness did not exist. If you can put the offensively racial language into the context of the period, you’ll find an enjoyable detective novel with the ultimate surprise ending of all time --Hal Bodner.
As an openly gay fictional sleuth, Pharoah Love is the godfather of Joseph Hansen's Dave Brandstetter, Michael Nava's (gay Latino) Henry Rios, Katherine Forrest's Kate Delafield, and others. But Hansen (beginning in the late 1970s), Nava (in the mid-80s), and Forrest (80s-90s) wrote considerably better mystery novels than A Queer Kind of Love. Fortunately, so did George Baxt. He even wrote better Pharoah Love novels, in sequels Topsy and Evil (1968) and especially A Queer Kind of Love (1994). I don't believe I ever recommended A Queer Kind of Death to anyone the first time I read it; and I would only do so today to a mystery novel fanatic (someone who reads the genre indiscriminately), or a student of black gay literature (in spite of Mr. Baxt having been white). To the extent it works at all anymore, A Queer Kind of Death works as a period piece, a relic of a very different time, its allusions to short-skirted blonds dancing the frug, the Beatles wanting to hold your hand, and of course, those millions of ―cats‖ giving the book a paisley-print ―Austin Powers‖ campiness 40-plus years after its initial publication. --Larry Duplechan, THE LOST LIBRARY, gay fiction rediscovered.
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Kyle Onstott (January 12, 1887 in Duquoin, Illinois–June 03, 1966 in San Francisco, California) was an American novelist, best-remembered for his best-selling novel Mandingo (1957), which deals with slavery on an Alabama plantation with the fictional name of Falconhurst in the 1830s. The book was made into a film of the same name, which was released in 1975.

The son of a midwestern general store owner, he moved to California with his widowed mother in the early 1900s and was a local breeder and judge in regional dog shows. He was an eccentric who was happy with a life of little work, ample cigarettes, and gin.

After collaborating with his adopted son on a book on dog breeding, he decided to write a book that would make him rich. Utilizing his son's anthropology research on West Africa, he handwrote Mandingo and his son served as editor. Denlinger's, a small Virginia publisher, released it and it became a national sensation, consumed by the public and derided by the critics.

After its paperback release by Fawcett, Onstott began his collaboration with Lance Horner, a Boston eccentric with a knack for recreating Onstott's style. The two men never met, but they collaborated on several books before Onstott's death, after which Horner continued the Falconhurst saga and penned other pulpy novels set in other eras. When Horner died in 1970, Fawcett signed prolific author Harry Whittington to continue writing Falconhurst tales under the name of Ashley Carter.

Although the Falconhurst series has sold near or over 15 million copies, it (and its authors) remain in the shadows of bestselling popular literature.

Child of the Sun, by Kyle Onstott and Lance Horner, was originally published in 1966 by Gold Medal, one of the most prominent and influential mass market paperback publishers in the country. It was overtly homosexual in theme and content and while marketed to a mainstream, heterodox readership, the jacket copy did not hide its homoerotic subject matter. The cover of the 1972 edition, quoted above, is even more explicit. Curiously, neither cover makes explicit that Varius Avitus Bassianus becomes the infamous Emperor Elagabalus – aka Heliogabalus or Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (not to be confused with Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher-Emperor) – whom semi-serious readers of history would have known as the man that Edward Gibbon in Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, claimed ―abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures and ungoverned fury.
Novels such as Gore Vidal‘s City and the Pillar (1948), James Barr‘s Quatrefoil (1950) and Fritz Peters‘s Finistere (1951) had all seriously addressed queer themes nearly two decades before. And, in terms of explicit sex, John Rechy‘s City of Night shocked readers with its life and times of queer hustlers in 1963 and his even more explicit Numbers would be published in 1967. More saliently, Mary Renault had been mining the classical-age of homo-lit with The Last of the Wine (1956), The King Must Die (1958) and Fire from Heaven (1969). Of course Renault‘s elegant literary peregrinations won her accolades of good taste and insightful characterization – the inverse of the heaving and pulsating antics of Child of the Sun.
So can anything positive actually be said about Child of the Sun? Well, it is fun to read as long as you don‘t expect much in the way of literature. Like Mandingo and their other American historical novels, Onstott and Horner know how to tell a story in the most basic, page-turning, sometimes even mindnumbing, manner.
Child of the Sun is a fascinating historical pop-culture curiosity that doesn‘t really connect to the great gay novels of the 1950s; by the time Stonewall happened a few years later, it felt old fashioned. This makes it both singular and special; one more tile in the complicated mosaic of what we now call 20th century gay literature. --Michael Bronski, The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered
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