Reading Group: Discussions 2005

LGBT Community Center NYCThe Gay & Lesbian Reading Group, based in New York City, is a friendly and diverse discussion group founded circa 1982. We welcome everyone interested in GLBT Literature, and appreciate all points of view. We read contemporary and classic works of GLBT-related fiction, non-fiction, drama, and poetry. Join us the second Thursday of each month, 8:00pm at the LGBT Community Center, 208 West 13th Street, NYC.

In addition to many GLBT Literature Resources, this site also archives information about the G&L Reading Group from 1997 to today, including all of the books we have discussed.

Books & Resources: 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 || Books Only:  1998 | 1997 || Full Index

2005 | January 13: Brideshead Revisted

Evelyn Waugh's 1945 Novel

Waugh Resources


February 10: All-Night Party

Andrea Barnet's 2004 Historical Study



March 10: In Cold Blood

Truman Capote's 1966 'Non-Fiction Novel'

Capote Resources


April 14: The Ballad of the Sad Cafe

Carson McCullers's 1951 Novella

McCullers Resources


May 12: Julian

Gore Vidal's 1964 Historical Novel

Vidal & Emperor Julian Resources

  • Julian – resources
  • Vidal ( – excellent resource to begin exploring Vidal's life and works, includes a mini-biography, notes on his books and plays, dozens of links, as well as details about Roman history
  • Vidal ( – overview of same-sex aspects of his life and work
  • Gore Vidal Index – Harry Kloman's informative site includes many writings by and about Vidal
  • Vidal as a New York Times "Featured Author" – dozens of NYT articles by and about Vidal from 1946–1999. NOTE: This invaluable resource could 'disappear' at any time, so if you are interested please visit it soon
  • Vidal at The New York Review of Books – dozens of articles: some are free, others require paying a fee
  • Vidal "Uncensored" in November 2003 ( – a far-ranging interview in which Vidal shares his views on America past, present and future
  • Vidal Quotations ( – a few of his choicest witticisms (e.g., "Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half."), with links to more
  • Gay Male American Literature, 1900–1969 ( – explore the broader GLBT literary tradition which informs this work
  • Gay Male Novel ( – for an historical literary context
  • Ancient GLBT Roman Literature ( – for a perspective on GLBT history and writing in the era of Emperor Julian
  • Emperor Julian Resources – links to several choice articles on various historical and philosophical aspects of Julian's reign, as well as a review of Vidal's novel
  • Historical writings related to Julian:
  • Film ConnectionVidal Films (IMDb) – Vidal has many credits as screenwriterwriter, actor and himself


June 9: The Song of the Lark

Willa Cather's 1915 Novel

Cather Resources


July 14: I Am My Own Wife

Charlotte von Mahlsdorf's 1995 Memoir

Mahlsdorf Resources

  • I Am My Own Wife – resources – reviews, readers' comments, leave your own comments, buy new or used. (Although we are not reading it, this book was the inspiration for Doug Wright's 2004 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama I Am My Own Wife: A Play.)
  • Review of I Am My Own Wife – from The Monarch: Canada's Transgender Reader, Winter 1997, Issue # 44
  • Transgender ( – brief history of the Transgender movement
  • Cross-Dressing: a literary perspective (
  • Cross-Dressing: a social sciences perspective (
  • Brief history of pre-Nazi and Nazi Germany including GLBT life – from my review of early German gay-themed films
  • GLBT German history ( – includes extensive bibliographies and related links
  • GLBT German literature: 19th & 20th Centuries ( – excellent survey of this important literary tradition, with additional resources
  • Paragraph 175 – Rob Epstein and Jeff Friedman's powerful documentary about German GLBT life in the Nazi era
  • Film ConnectionExperimental German gay filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim directed I Am My Own Woman, a feature-length motion picture version of Mahlsdorf's book in 1995 (using her original title)
    • Two other films about German transgendered women are the recent musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001; written, directed by and starring John Cameron Mitchell, music and lyrics by Stephen Trask – from their long-running off-Broadway show) and one of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's most celebrated and controversial films, In a Year With 13 Moons), which he wrote, directed, photographed, and edited himself after the tragic death of his lover.
    • Rainer Werner Fassbinder, openly and defiantly gay, is the most acclaimed modern German filmmaker, and his pictures chronicle the world in which von Mahlsdorf lived. His BRD Trilogy – comprised of The Marriage of Maria Braun, Lola, and Veronika Voss – is a powerful tragi-comic history of post-Nazi Germany.


August 11: Delta of Venus

Anaïs Nin's 1977 Story Collection (written in the 1940s)

Nin Resources


September 8: City of Night

John Rechy's 1963 Novel

Rechy Resources


October 13: The Children's Hour

Lillian Hellman's 1934 Play

Hellman Resources

  • The Children's Hour – resources – reviews, readers' comments, leave your own comments, buy new or used
  • Lillian Hellman – brief introduction to her life and work
  • Hellman (Wikipedia) – includes links to information about her major plays and books
  • Hellman (PBS's American Masters series) – features a video clip of her victory over the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1952
  • Hellman's FBI File – for decades she was spied on by the FBI because of her "subversive" liberal views
  • GLBT Connections to Modern Drama (glbtq) – excellent overview; provides context for The Children's Hour
  • Film ConnectionHellman Films (IMDb) — The Children's Hour on DVD – the 1961 film version from director William Wyler (The Best Years of Our Lives) stars Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine; Wyler had previously filmed this same play in 1936 under the title These Three, from Hellman's own screenplay, starring Merle Oberon and Miriam Hopkins (who also appears in the 1961 film)


November 10: Funny Boy

Shyam Selvadurai's 1994 Novel

Selvadurai Resources


December 14: Under the Net

Iris Murdoch's 1954 Novel

Murdoch Resources



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