Armistice Day

Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs, And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost...

The political novel: 3

At the time I started writing my first gay political novel, I had only been out for 24 months, and I was steeping in the literature of gay political theory. The weekend that Charles Howard was murdered (July 7, 1984)—he was the man on whom Bernie Mallett of Ceremonies...

The political novel: 2

Even though I didn’t have many extended, free-wheeling conversations with friends about the military’s rules against my serving (I served anyway), still the fact that what I was doing sexually was a crime occupied me deeply. A novel about me during the sixties in...

The political novel: 1

Writers write about political subjects all the time—Henry James wrote about the place of women in late nineteenth century England, and Charles Dickens wrote about the legal system and the poor in the nineteenth century, William Faulkner wrote about black people in the...

Christopher Isherwood, grief, loss

I read A Single Man—about George Falconer’s grief—when I was in school in the late sixties, and I don’t think I liked it much. At twenty-five I didn’t know what grief was, so I didn’t know it when I stumbled on it. I also didn’t know what this story had to do with my...