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!


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