RECLAIMING FORGOTTEN 1960s to '70s NOVELS featuring confident, unapologetic gay heroes then-unseen in mainstream media
For most of the 20th century, gay men saw little of themselves in American fiction other than in "problem novels" that positioned gayness as inherently isolating and tragic. The exception was the twilight world of adult fiction, through which LGBTQIA+ readers who enjoyed thrillers, detective novels, horror and science-fiction stories could finally see people like themselves as the heroes.
Launched in March, Maitland's Vintage Gay Books Newsletter, along with Riverdale Avenue Books’ associated imprint 120 Days Books, have helped to reclaim these novels' deserved place. With an informative and entertaining essay every other Thursday, Maitland's Vintage Gay Books Newsletter now goes to a $5/month subscription model, with a selection of free essays remaining available to anyone.
"Her prose outshines that of the gay pulp novels she reviews. But with style, a touch of cynicism, and a sly sense of humor, Maitland McDonagh reveals a surprising amount of depth in books generally prized only for their covers. ... Her reviews are not to be missed." — Barry Harrison, Homobilia
"I've come to look upon Maitland McDonagh as one of the few authorities on this period of time that, without people like her, would have faded into oblivion. As both a writer about and republisher of books of the Golden Age of Gay Pulp Fiction — wherein gay literary protagonists were allowed to live normal lives and not end up as clinically depressed victims or suicides — McDonagh is the recognized go-to person for anyone with even a modicum of interest in this field."
— Author William Maltese, dean of gay-pulp novelists
This hidden gay fiction deserves to be rediscovered and appreciated. Readers can sign up for $5/month subscription, or sample a selection of free essays at VintageGayBooks.substack.com — an introduction, an overview and two columns focusing on a pair of the best and most representative titles.