Love in a Dark Time by Colm Toibin
And Other Explorations of Gay Lives and Literature

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Colm Toibin knows the languages of the outsider, the secret keeper, the gay man or woman. He knows the covert and overt language of homosexuality in literature. In "Love in a Dark Time," he also describes the solace of finding like-minded companions through reading.Toibin examines the life and work of some of the greatest and most influential writers of the past two centuries, figures whose homosexuality remained hidden or oblique for much of their lives, either by choice or necessity. The larger world couldn't know about their sexuality, but in their private lives, and in the spirit of their work, the laws of desire defined their expression.This is an intimate encounter with Mann, Baldwin, Bishop, and with the contemporary poets Thom Gunn and Mark Doty. Through their work, Toibin is able to come to terms with his own inner desires -- his interest in secret erotic energy, his admiration for courageous figures, and his abiding fascination with sadness and tragedy. Toibin looks both at writers forced to disguise their true experience on the page and at readers who find solace and sexual identity by reading between the lines.

About Colm Toibin

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Colm Tóibín is the author of four novels: The Blackwater Lightship, The South, The Heather Blazing, and The Story of the Night, which won the 1998 Ferro-Grumley Award for best gay novel and is on the Lambda list of the 100 best gay novels of all time. In 1995, he received the E. M. Forster Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Tóibín also wrote the nonfiction books Bad Blood: A Walk Along the Irish Border, Homage to Barcelona, and The Sign of the Cross: Travels in Catholic Europe and is the editor of the Anthology of Irish Literature. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.
Published January 1, 2002 by McClelland & Stewart. 272 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Political & Social Sciences, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction, Self Help, Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Discerning the gay influence in literature where it is veiled in subtexts—“a hidden world of signs and moments, fears and prejudices”—is of critical importance as gay history becomes a vital element in gay identity, writes Toibín.

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Publishers Weekly

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Departing from recent novels The Blackwater Lightship and The Story of the Night and nonfiction such as his Bad Blood: A Walk Along the Irish Border, Dublin-based writer Tóibín offers nine case studies in as many chapters of how "gay life" has informed our readings of writers, artists and filmm...

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