The Best LGBT Books of All Time

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About Benoit Denizet-Lewis

Benoit Denizet-Lewis is an editor-at-large with The Good Men Project magazine, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, and the author of two books, including America Anonymous: Eight Addicts in Search of a Life.


  1. Holding the Man, autobiography of Timothy Conigrave (Australian). “Captures” the times, growing up pre-AIDS and then the tragedy. But “captures” doesn’t quite cover it. It’s the most moving thing I’ve ever read.

  2. What a comprehensive and varied list! Great compilation. Among my favs are Nightwood by Djuna Barnes, The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal, and A la recherche du temps perdu by Marcel Proust.

  3. Shout out to ‘Stone Butch Blues’ by Leslie Feinberg!

  4. David May says:


    If only you had run into me when I was still living in San Francisco! I’d have provided you with a lengthy and probably ridiculously thorough list…

    I read Kramer’s “Faggots” when it first appeared in 1979 — and just before my first and only trip to Fire Island for which I found it invaluable research at the tender age of 23. I loved the book then and still have my original copy. I should re-read to see how I feel about it today. That was, of course, the summer of the three queer classics: Andrew Hollaran’s “Dancer From the Dance”, Edmund White’s “Nocturnes for the King of Naples” and “Faggots.” They each record the same erotic frenzy of the era (as least as it was experienced in New York) but from different perspectives and are worth a comparative reading (if one is a lit geek like oneself).

    But missing (as far I could tell) from the lists are the following:

    1) Faggots by Larry Kramer
    2) The Limits of Pleasure by Daniel Jaffe
    3) The Far Euphrates by Aryeh Lev Stollman
    4) The Beebo Brinker novels by Ann Bannon
    5) The Picture of Dorian Gray (Original Unexpurgated Edition) by Oscar Wilde

  5. Gint Aras says:

    I’ll add two of my favorites:

    The Catholic, by David Plante
    Music for Chameleons, by Truman Capote

  6. Robert Riski says:

    I read it years ago but still often think of “Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality” by John Boswell. It gives a well-researched account of homosexuality in the west and how it became transformed from being relatively common and accepted in Ancient Greece, Rome, and Europe in the early Middle Ages to publicly reviled until recently.

  7. David Wise says:

    You’re right, Giovanni’s Room is a terrific book that I read 30 years ago.

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  9. The Front Runner is the best books ever!


  1. [...] As I’ve said before I LOVE LISTS! And yes, I know all the risks that come with making lists. But they’re fun so get over it.  So….The best gay books of all time, chosen by the best LGBT writers — The Good Men Projec… [...]

  2. [...] list, assembled by Benoît Denizet-Lewis, is as atrociously presented as one would expect from a site run by [...]

  3. [...] The Good Men Project har spurt en del USAnske LHBT-forfattere om å foreslå fem nødvendige LHBT-bøker. Topplista blir [...]

  4. [...] of nostalgia that I read the opening paragraphs to Benoit Denizet-Lewis’s recent feature for The Good Men Project: The Best LGBT Books of All Time. He writes of walking into the recently-shuttered A Different [...]

  5. [...] of nostalgia that I read the opening paragraphs to Benoit Denizet-Lewis’s recent feature for The Good Men Project: The Best LGBT Books of All Time. He writes of walking into the recently-shuttered A Different [...]

  6. [...] The Good Men Project, the best LGBT books “of all [...]

  7. [...] LGBT bibliophile? In honor of gay pride month, writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis, writing for the website The Good Men Project, surveyed some of the country’s top LGBT authors to get the [...]

  8. Gay Summer Reading List: Writers Choose the Best…

    Image via Passport LGBT Summer Reading List: Writers Choose the Best Are you an avid reader looking for some good gay material to help keep you entertained this summer? You’re in luck! Earlier this month, The Good Men Project created a list on the…

  9. [...] I’ll be the first to admit, my knowledge about all the queer books out there is extremely limited to those containing gay characters, which is why I wanted to share this resource that not only names modern LGBT authors that represent every letter of the acronym, but also gives each of their top five picks of must-read LGBT books. [...]

  10. [...] struck me most about these lists of Top 5 LGBTW books by prominent LGBTQ authors is the very regular appearance of James Baldwin. I prefer Another Country but it and [...]

  11. [...] Benoit Denizet Lewis asked 31 notable LGBT authors to select and discuss the five books they considered crucial reading for his survey piece, “The Best LGBT Books of All Time,” for The Good Men Project. You can read it here. [...]

  12. [...] Good Men Project has put together a list of “the best LGBT books of all time.” I will have to look it over and select a thing or two to read. A hat tip to Lambda Literary. [...]

  13. [...] INCLUDE: Top 10 Good Guys in Sports, How My Son Made Me a Criminal, Pop Culture is Killing Us, The Best LGBT Books of All Time, Are There Good Guys in Porn?, Being a Dude is a Good Thing, Men and the Sexualization of Young [...]

  14. […] Recently, in his article “But, you’re so normal“, my pal Justen noted the difficulty he had finding gay role models in his youth, especially books that portrayed gay characters and gay lives. I had similar troubles when I was younger; however, I think Justen will agree with me that it’s much easier to find Queer literature in the age of the internet. There was in fact, lots to read when we were younger, it was just hard to find. Only last week I read this great article over at The Good Men Project where Denizet-Lewis compiles a great list of The Best LGBT Books of All Time! […]

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