- Gay teen fiction
Gay teen fiction is a subgenre that overlaps with
LGBT literatureand young adult literature. This article covers books about gay and bisexual teenage characters who are male.
The genre of
young adult literatureis usually considered to begin with Maureen Daly's " Seventeenth Summer", which was published in 1942. A "Library Quarterly" article by Christine Jenkins, an associate professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, states that approximately 100 gay young adult novels have been published since 1969.
Because gay young adult novels often center upon problems that gay teen characters encounter because of their homosexuality, these books are often classified as examples of the "problem novel" genre that first appeared in 1967, examples of which were S. E. Hinton's " The Outsiders" and Robert Cormier's "
The Chocolate War".
Despite the apparent wider acceptance of these novels, publishing them can be difficult. "
Geography Club", about a high school gay support group, was rejected 17 times before it was published. Author Brent Hartinger said, "Editors told my agent again and again that there was no market for a book like this, and all my agent's agent-friends told her she was wasting her time on a gay teen book."cite news
title =Interview with Brent Hartinger, Author of Geography Club
date =June 2003
accessdate = 2007-03-01 ]
The audience for such books includes both teens and adults, according to Sharyn November, a senior editor at Viking Children's Books/Puffin, who observes that "young adult used to mean books aimed at readers between the ages 16 and 21," but some of these books are now "reaching the 14 plus crowd and ideally crossing over to the adult market," although gay young adult novels are also aimed at children as young as twelve years old.
"USA Today" reported that, "No longer do gay young adult novels simply ask, "Am I gay?" Now they explore how to navigate in the journey for love."cite news
title =Books give honest portrayal of growing up gay
publisher =USA Today
June 28, 2001
accessdate = 2007-02-28 ]
Contemporary gay young adult novels typically involve a teenage protagonist, teen issues, and the first-person point of view. These novels have come to deal with a variety of gay-related issues and themes.
The annual Rainbow List is created by the GLBT Round Table of the
American Library Association. This best-of-the-year list, selected by librarians who are members for the GLBTRT, and, in its inaugural year.
Another indication, some say, that gay young adult novels have gained wider acceptance in recent years is the fact that, since 1999, four gay-themed books, or books with gay secondary characters, have won the Young Adult Library Services Association's
Michael L. Printz Award.cite news
title =Queer lit for the gay teen
11 November 2003
accessdate = 2007-05-28 ] This award, named for a
Topeka, Kansasschool librarian and sponsored by Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association, is given in recognition of a work that demonstrates literary excellence in young adult literature.
Lambda Literary Award, which is awarded in recognition of works that celebrate or explore LGBT themes, also recognizes children's/young adult literature.
Other examples of recognition include the
American Library Association's "Best Books for Young Adults" award, whose winners have included " Rainbow Boys" by Alex Sanchezand "Boy Meets Boy" by David Levithan.
*"The Tragedy of Miss Geneva Flowers", Joe Babcock
*"Vintage, A Ghost Story",
Steve Berman- (finalist, Andre Norton Award)
Ironside", Holly Black
Baby Be-Bop", Francesca Lia Block
My Father's Scar", Michael Cart
Dance On My Grave", Aidan Chambers
*"Eight Seconds, Jean Ferris
War Boy", Kief Hillsbery
The Man Without a Face", Isabelle Holland
*"Hello, I Lied", M.E. Kerr
*"Boy Meets Boy",
The Straight Road To Kylie", Nico Medina
All American Boys", Frank Mosca
Rainbow Boys", Alex Sanchez
Rainbow High", Alex Sanchez
So Hard to Say", Alex Sanchez- (winner, Lambda Literary Award)
The God Box", Alex Sanchez
Swimming in the Monsoon Sea", Shyam Selvadurai- (winner, Lambda Literary Award)
Tale of Two Summers", Brian Sloan
* "Trying Hard to Hear You",
Lesbian teen fiction
Homosexuality in children's literature
* [http://www.ala.org/ala/glbtrt/welcomeglbtround.cfm Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association]
* [http://alexsanchez.com/gay_teen_books.htm List of gay young adult novels]
* [http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~Serlewis/mtke/closet.htm An annotated book list of teenage novels on the issues of being gay]
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