--Title, Dewey, Format
Summers, Claude. The Gay and Lesbian Literary Heritage: A
Reader‟s Companion to the Writers and Their Words, From
Antiquity to the Present. New York: Henry Holt, 1995.
809.89206 GAY AND 1995
Hardcover. 786 pages. Slightly smaller than 8.5 x 11
$88.00 on Amazon
Note: This PPT addresses the 1995 edition, although there is also a 2002
edition. Neither edition includes images, so any images in this powerpoint
are simply for interest and visual appeal.
--Arrangement and Indexing
350 alphabetical entries
Notes on Contributors
8 page index
150 scholars contributed articles
Survey of gay and lesbian literary
presence in various historical periods and
Critical essays on gay and lesbian authors
Admits a bias toward English and
American literary traditions, although
attempts to address other cultures
“from antiquity to the present” – Plato to
Michael Cunningham (author of The
Literature “ …the nine-column
entry on AIDS
--Currency literature, which
the most significant
2002 edition updates works year by year
the 1995, BUT…
through 1994, adds
“Unfortunately, of just two scant
more than 380 entries,
paragraphs on the last
just 32 are new, and
very few of the others
seven years while
have been revised or revising none of the
had their earlier text.”
bibliographies updated. ---Eric Bryant, Library
Allen Ginsberg's entry Journal
now has a death date
and one new citation,
but the text is
“…this book cannot help To address a variety of needs:
partaking of a specific
Those who want to browse,
cultural (and political) agenda, dip into the book for
the recovery .. of a pleasure & enlightenment.
perpetually threatened legacy Those who want to study
of same-sex love in literature in-depth.
and life.” Those who need to find
--from the Introduction information quickly.
Professor Emeritus of Humanities and
English at University of Michigan,
Won the Modern Language Association‟s
Crompton-Noll award in Gay Studies
Former chair of Modern Language
Association‟s division on gay studies in
language and literature
Author of Gay Fictions: Wilde to Stonewall
“The re-release of The Gay & Lesbian Literary Heritage-published in
1995 by Holt is to be celebrated for at least bringing back into print
this best-ever, single-volume reference on the subject. Summers
(English, Univ. of Michigan) presents both biographical and topical
entries with an international scope, though the emphasis is on
American and English literature.“
-From Library Journal
This remarkable volume contains essential reading for gay people
seeking evidence of ancient roots and roles--and for anyone else who
wants a more complete picture of the origins of literary endeavor than
formal education usually offers.
–Lisa Alther, author of Kinflicks and Five Minutes in Heaven
Comprehensive in scope, taking us from ancient to contemporary times and
treating each topic with an admirable thoroughness, this is the first
edition of what I predict will become an authoritative record for an
expanding 'literary heritage'.
–Richard Schneider Jr., editor of The Harvard Gay and Lesbian
It is dedicated to the recovery, consolidation, and document of the
diverse legacies of same sex love in literature, and the 150-plus
scholars from around the world who ahve authored these articles
should be proud to have contributed so successfully to that mission..
–Library Journal, G. Douglas Meyers, Dec 02
--Typical reference uses
On page ix of the “The trip to the local library,
description of a where the young (person),
typical „coming desperate for the most basic
out‟ story range
information, is usually utterly
incredibly true; I
know from confused or bitterly
experience this disappointed by what he or
kind of reference
use occurs: she discovers.”
--Typical reference uses, continued
Students wanting information on famous
authors who are themselves gay or
Students wanting information on gay and
lesbian themes in literature.
Instructors teaching literature survey
courses, who are comparing gay and
lesbian themes across historical periods.
Includes national & ethnic literatures:
English Lit (e.g. medieval, Renaissance,
American Lit: Lesbian post-Stonewall
Bibliographies for most entries
Gay and Lesbian Literature.
Ed. Malinowski, Sharon. Detroit: St.
James Press, 1994.
485 pages, categorized index (general,
nationality, subject, genre, literary
More accessible re. Authors, but no
entries on literary traditions.
I‟m impressed with stated purpose of book. Did not know
such an anthology existed.
The book is unwieldy: heavy, dense, completely alphabetic.
Separate sections would make it more useful: literary
traditions, topics, authors.
I‟d prefer an overview of literatures, then to dive into
Language is highly sophisticated: not accessible to the
average young or student reader. Requires strong
vocabulary and understanding of literary terms.