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LGBTQ biography

The books are listed alphabetically by author surname. The books listed explore the lives and the literary lives of well-known members of the LGBTQ communities.

These lists are not comprehensive so please search the catalogue to find out what other titles we have in stock. If you would like to recommend titles or authors to us, please fill in a comments card or send an email to chatham.library@medway.gov.uk. We can’t promise to buy all suggested titles but will give them consideration.

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LGBTQ Biography

Adam, Peter - David Hockney: And his friends

This book presents an analysis of the key developments in Hockney's work over the past 30 years, and the chapters advance the critical debate around his work. As part of the Outline series the book draws attention to the artist's gay credentials.

Beard, Richard - Becoming Drusilla: One Life, Two Friends, Three Genders

Richard Beard's friend Drew surprised him with the announcement that he was going to have a sex change. This is the story of how Drew became Dru, of a friendship, of a fortnight's walking holiday, and of how what we think we know about ourselves, our friends, and our families can turn out to be very, very wide of the mark.

Bennett, Alan - Untold stories

Includes all the major prose writings of the last 10 years, including diaries, essays, reviews, lectures, eulogies and reminiscences.

Bret, David - Clark Gable: Tormented star

Clark Gable was perceived as the archetypal Hollywood supermensch, the kind of man women lusted after and their husbands envied. However, as David Bret reveals in this biography, in the early days of his career Gable was more of a man's man than a ladies man, displaying strong bisexual tendencies.

Butters, Wes & Davies, Russell - Kenneth Williams Unseen: The private notes, scripts and photographs

2008 marked the 20th anniversary of the death of legendary comic actor and broadcaster Kenneth Williams. This text celebrates his life, including never-before-seen photographs, sketches and personal testimony from Williams' closest friends.

Crisp, Quentin (Editor) - The Gay and Lesbian Quotation book: A literary companion

A chronological list of quotations documenting the change over the past decade in "ideas of being gay". The quotes are grouped into sections by subject: coming out, gayness, sexuality, beauty, art and literature, education, separation and loneliness, religion, employment and money and health.

Leavitt, David - The Man who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the invention of the computer

With a novelist's sensitivity, David Leavitt portrays Turing in all his humanity - his eccentricities, his brilliance, his fatal candour - while elegantly explaining his work and its implications.

Madsen, Axel - The Sewing Circle: Hollywood's greatest secret: Female stars who loved other women

This is the story of Hollywood women who led public lives as romantic heroines, and private lives as lesbians or bisexuals. Secretly known as the Sewing Circle, their number included Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, and Barbara Stanwyck.

McEwan, Douglas - My Lush Life

This is the laugh out loud, hard drinking, hard loving 'autobiography' of the greatest star who never lived. Now at the tender age of 103, the one that put the 'tasteless bisexual, alcoholic, nymphomaniac' in the word legend tells all to ghost-writer and possible kidnap victim, Douglas McEwan.

McLellan, Diana - The Girls: Sappho goes to Hollywood

Journalist Diana McLellan lifts the veil from the lives of Hollywood's goddesses in this chronicle of the girl group of the 20th century. The book features the story of Garbo and Dietrich, and the love life of Mercedes De Acosta.

O'Grady, Paul - At My Mother's Knee and other low joints

In his own uniquely acid tongue, Paul O'Grady traces the hilarious tales of life in Irish Catholic Birkenhead that took him from a virtuous altar-boy to Britain's best loved entertainer.

O'Grady, Paul - The Devil Rides Out

Aged 18, the young Paul O'Grady has already been a cat burglar and a boxer, a mischievous altar boy and a civil servant, he's fathered a baby and lost his own father, he's discovered Liverpool's burgeoning gay club scene as well as the Docks... What could there possibly be left to do? Rest assured, there's never a dull moment in this riotous account of What Paul Did Next....

Parker, Peter - Isherwood: a life

Born into the English landed gentry, the heir to a substantial country estate, Christopher Isherwood ended up in California, an American citizen and the disciple of a Hindu swami. Peter Parker traces the long journey of a man who never felt at home wherever he lived.

Shephard, Sue - The Surprising Life of Constance Spry

This is the story of Constance Spry, who began her life teaching slum children and ended it creating the floral displays for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Along the way, she escaped a violent marriage, had a lengthy affair with a cross-dressing lesbian artist and built a hugely successful business as a society florist.

Spanbauer, Tom - In the City of Shy Hunters

William Parker moves from a small town in the mid-West to Manhattan, desperate to escape the provincialism he has endured. Once in New York, however, he is surrounded by people who understand and accept his quirks, and he soon falls in love.

Watson, Peter - Nureyev : a biography

Nureyev was the greatest male dancer of his generation but was also a great romantic star both on- and off-stage. In this book, Peter Watson approaches Nureyev both as a ballet star of technical genius and as a bisexual loner and political exile.

Wilson, Christopher - Dancing with the Devil: The Windsors and Jimmy Donahue

Gay at a time when it was illegal, the Woolworth heir Jimmy Donahue was notorious within America's upper class. When he met the Duchess of Windsor, 19 years his senior, an attraction was formed and the royal couple became obsessed by him.

Winterson, Jeanette - Why be happy when you could be normal?

This book is the story of a life's work to find happiness. It is the story of how the painful past Jeanette Winterson thought she had written over and repainted returned to haunt her later life, and sent her on a journey into madness and out again, in search of her real mother.

Woods, Gregory - A History of Gay Literature: The male tradition

A History of Gay Literature confronts recent trends in Anglo-American gay studies, both by insisting on the internationalisation of homosexual culture and by reasserting a continuity of homo-erotic traditions over the centuries.