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With Pride Month well underway, we here at OWL Educational Services wanted to do our part in promoting books by gay authors. This is only a starting off point in educating oneself on LGBT issues; there are still other steps to take if one wants to better understand the lives of others.

1.) The Price of Salt (otherwise known as Carol) by Patrica Highsmith

Patricia Highsmith is most well known for her novels featuring Tom Ripley (The Talented Mr. Ripley, etc.), but she also wrote many other novels, including what is often regarded as the first lesbian couple novel in which the women have a happy ending. It went on to become a well-regarded film adaptation, with the likes of Cate Blanchett offering a solid performance.

2.) Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Alison Bechdel, a brilliant cartoonist, provides us with an excellent autobiographical graphic novel, chronicling two stories at once. One is the story of her own journey leading up to her coming to terms with her own sexuality. The other is that of her father, an English teacher and part-time mortician, who himself was a deeply closeted gay man who may or may not have committed suicide. It served as the basis of a Broadway musical.

3.) Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

Baldwin’s second novel deals not only with the subject of homosexuality but also that of bisexuality, written at a time long before such topics were openly discussed. Critics still argue and scrutinize the full scope of these subjects as they exist in the novel today, furth bolstering the question of sexuality as it plays a role in society.

4.) Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delaney

While not an explicitly gay novel in and of itself, Babel-17 does explore the complications of interpersonal sexual/romantic relationships, and serves as a precursor to some of the themes that crop up in later novels by the same author. An important writer within the science fiction community, Delaney has also built up an important wealth of criticism and discussion in the larger literary landscape, and that wealth springs from books such as Babel-17.

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