New Gay Voices: Introduction

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New Gay Voices Guest Edited by Dennis Cooper

is littered with innovative, scandalous writers who happened to be homosexual, so it’s downright peculiar that most contemporary gay writers are so yawn-inducingly provinicial and ordinary. Blame editors and critics, blame the neo-conservatism sweeping gay-centric culture, but don’t blame the writers, because, on rare occasion they’re just as daring and fresh as they were pre-Stonewall. For example, here are four wild, skillful young writers who are just now storming the publishing houses, not to mention helping put the literature back in “gay literature.”


Mark Ewert is a writer, actor and artist living in San Francisco. He has starred in a number of films, including Gus Van Sant’s Four Naked Boys and a Gun, Sadie Benning’s Flat Is Beautiful, and GB Jones’s The Lollipop Generation. “A Boy for Bill Burroughs” is excerpted from his memoir-in-progress, Guileless, which chronicles Ewert’s romances with a number of notable cultural figures, including Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Michael Alig, Gus Van Sant and others.


Scott Heim has published two widely acclaimed novels, Mysterious Skin and In Awe. He lives in New York City, and is currently at work on his third novel, We Disappear.


Brian Pera is a novelist and short story writer based in Memphis, Tennessee. His first novel, Troublemaker, will be published next year.


Terminator caused a minor sensation when, at the age of sixteen, he sold his first novel. Now eighteen, his work has been championed by Mary Gaitskill, Tobias Wolff, Bruce Benderson and others. Currently living in San Francisco, he also writes regularly on music for the New York Press. His as-yet-untitled novel is scheduled to be published next year. “Natoma Street,” written when he was fifteen, is one of his earliest stories.

© 1999 Dennis Cooper and