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A bitter-sweet triumph. The sex, drugs, and thrill seeking are just the trimmings around the real crux of the story: Shaw's ongoing quest for true love. He's the only one I know who can tug at your heartsrtings and your crotch at the same time." Village Voice
The star of more than fifty adult films, Aiden Shaw ranks as one of gay porn's all-time favourite performers. Now he shares in unsparing detail his personal stories about the sex and drugs that have fuelled his private life. However, the book also follows him through a course of rocky and unfulfilling relationships. As Shaw eloquently, insightfully and humorously points out, the romantic life of an adult film superstar can be lonely and wanting for the love of others. But also love from within himself. The book is equally moving for his revelations about his Irish Catholic upbringing, his open HIV-positive status, and his recovery from a near fatal car accident that left him temporarily paralysed. Gritty and poignant. See boys, you can have brains and beauty. Recommended. To order call 0207 278 7654.
Recently out in paperback this award-winning biography is highly recommended. One of the great mysteries in the life of E. M. Forster (1879-1970) is why, after the publication of "A Passage to India" in 1924, he never published another novel although he lived to be 90. In Wendy Moffat's biography, based on a lifetime's dedication to her subject, we gain extraordinary insights into a man with a gift for writing fiction of great humanity, warmth and humour, who realised early that the society of his time would not allow him to publish the fiction he really wanted to write. At the end of "A Passage to India", his readers were left with the melancholy sight of Aziz and Fielding, friends of different races and cultures, riding out of the novel down separate paths. In real life, although frustrated at not being able to write out of his true self - it would not be until after his death that Maurice, his novel of a homosexual affair, would be published - E. M. Forster led a full and energetic life. He was a successful broadcaster, a brilliant essayist (Abinger Harvest and Two Cheers for Democracy are still must-reads) and a leading figure in Europe's intellectual life. Moffat argues that with his support for colleagues from Lowes Dickinson and Radclyffe Hall to Christopher Isherwood and Benjamin Britten, and his quiet championing of humanistic values, he helped create the more tolerant world we now enjoy. Moffat's achievement is not to show that Forster was homosexual (this is well known) but how deeply his ideas on individual freedom, tolerance, sexuality and love, permeated every act and aspect of his life.
To order call 0207 278 7654.
'Wendy Moffat's re-examination of E. M. Forster identifies his homosexuality as being the essence of his creative life. Using unpublished writings, she charts his gradual awakening to the moral, intellectual and emotional significance of his homo-erotic imagination. Her book is an astute and original new portrait of this major novelist.' - Michael Holroyd
Recently out in paperback, Alan Bennett's first collection of prose writing since Writing Home takes in all his major writings over the last ten years. The title piece is a poignant family memoir with an account of the marriage of his parents, the lives and deaths of his aunts and the uncovering of a long-held family secret. Also included are his much celebrated diaries for the years 1996 - 2004. At times heart-rending and at others extremely funny,
Untold Stories is a matchless and unforgettable anthology.
To order call 0207 278 7654.
'Alan Bennett, with his combination of pitiless observation and gentle understatement, is perhaps the best-loved of English writers alive today.' Sunday Telegraph
Myles Hildyard served as an officer during WWII. He saw action in Palestine, Crete - where he was captured and embarked on a dramatic escape - North Africa, Italy, the D-Day landings and finally Berlin in 1945. During this time Myles wrote extensively, mainly in letters home. For Myles, the war was not just the worst of times but also the best: he saw some of the great sights; he was tanned and healthy; and he made friendships that were to last a lifetime. Myles's letters convey what it was like to be in the heart of battle, in occupied castles, in wartime London society, and in the ruins of Berlin. They also show a young man coming to terms with his sexuality in a clear sighted, brave and intellignet way. Witty and profound, they are letters full of longing: for home, for news, to find God, and to find out what the war is all for.
To order call 0207 278 7654.
'A remarkably well-observed piece of social history, an erundite but easy-to-read travelogue and a personal-experience account of the Second World War.' The Spectator
To solve one of the great mathematical problems of his day, Alan Turing proposed an imaginary programmable calculating machine. But the idea of actually producing a 'Turing machine' did not crystallize until he and his brilliant Bletchley Park colleagues built devices to crack the Nazi's Enigma code, thus ensuring Allied victory in World War II. In so doing, Turing became a champion of artificial intelligence, formulating the famous (and still unbeaten) Turing Test that challanges our ideas of human consciousness. But Turing's post-war computer building was cut short when, as an openly gay man in a time when homosexuality was officially illegal in Britain, he was apprehended by the authorities and sentenced to a 'treatment' that amounted to chemical castration. Ultimatly it drove him to commit suicide. With a novelist's sensitivity, David Leavitt portrays Turing in all his humanity - his eccentricities, his brilliance, his fatal candour - while enegantly explaining his work and its implications. David Leavitt is the author of several novels including The Body of Jonah Boyd. To order call 0207 278 7654.
"Edward Field's memoir vividly recounts the story of New York bohemian life since the fifties, a world that is now gone. With its tell-all bluntness and gossipy intimacy, it brings to life - as no other work that I know - the spirit of gay bohemia." David Bergman
Following WWII, Air Force veteran Edward Field threw himself into New York's literary bohemia, searching for fufillment as a gay man and a poet in the decades before Stonewall. Only Greenwich Village, still cheap enough for young artists to live in, offered the freedom to be radical, write poetry and be opely gay. Field's memoir becomes a portrait of his generation, for his friends included many of America'a significant literary figures.
Field opens the closet door to reveal, as they have never been seen before, some of the most important writers of his time: the young, beautiful Susan Sontag sitting at the feet of Alfred Chester, who plotted, shrewdly, to marry her; May Swenson and her two loves; the ambiguous marriage of Paul and Jane Bowles, and Paul's threat to rub out Alfred Chester; Field's affair with Frank O'Hara; Fritz Peters, the anointed son of Gurdjieff, and his fall from grace; poet Ralph Pomeroy, called the faux Truman Capote; and many others including Isabel Miller, James Baldwin, Tobias Schneebaum and Robert Friend. These intimate portraits, woven into Field's own story, make this memoir a unique glimpse into postwar bohemia - by turns bawdy, comical, romantic, sad and heroic. To order call 0207 278 7654.
The new Edmund White autobiography is now out in paperback. From an adolesence in the 1950s, an era that tried to 'cure' homosexuality but found him 'unsalvageable', White emerged into a 1960s society which re-designated his orientation as 'acceptable (nearly)'. He describes a life touched by psychotherapy in every decade, starting with his flamboyant and demanding therapist mother, who considered him her own personal test case - not to mention her escort to cocktail lounges after her divorce. His father thought that even wearing a wristwatch was effeminate, though custodial visits to Dad in Cincinnati inadvertently initiated White into the culture of 'hustlers and johns' that changed his life. White also shares his enthusiasm for England, his passion for Paris and introduces us to his lovers and predilections - past and present. My Lives is a spectacular treat: by turns moving and hilarious, outrageous and enlightening. To order call 0207 278 7654.
Welcome to Hollywood, circa 1950, the end of the Golden Age. A remarkably handsome young boy, still a teenager, gets 'discovered' by a big-time movie agent. He is the picture of innocence and when he takes his shirt off, young hearts beat faster. Tab Hunter - a made-up name, of course - was a true product of Hollywood. A movie star created from a stable boy, a shy kid made even more so by the way his schoolmates reacted to his beauty. Raised by a mother who provided for him in every way, except emotionally, and by the secret of his sexuality: a secret that both tormented him and propelled him forward. To order call 0207 278 7654.
From the male sex symbol of the 1950s to an overweight slob and tabloid scandal at his century's end, Brando was filmdom's most original star. Women wanted him, as did certain men. He was willing to share his charms - he called it 'my nobel tool' - with his admirers. A self-admitted bisexual, he seduced more women and the occasinal man than any other actor in the history of Hollywood. His trail of conquests led from the A-list boudoirs of New York to similar padded enclaves in Hollywood and eventually to the backwaters of the South Pacific. His secret meeting with Hollywood ledgends such as Greta Garbo and Carry Grant are told with frankness, as are his so-called 'mercy f**ks' with such stellar delights as Joan Crawford, Bette Davis and even John Gielgud. Also revealed are the intimate details of his troubled but enduring love affair with Marilyn Monroe, to whom he was both confidant and lover. The decade long passion Tennessee Williams maintained for Brando is exposed, beginning one night on a lonely beach in Provincetown during WWII. Also revealed for the first time are his tortured relationships and love affairs with his two cheif rivals, Montgomery Clift and James Dean. All this and much much more is contained in this incredible and frank portrait of a man too huge, even for the silver screen to contain. To order call 0207 278 7654.
As a actor Dirk Bogarde was a Rank contract artist and matinee idol who became a giant of the intellectual cinema, working on films such as The Servant, Death in Venice and Providence. Fiercely protective of his privacy, and that of his partner of forty years, he left England in the 1960s to live abroad, where he carved a second career for himself as a bestselling author. Although Bogarde destroyed many of his papers, John Coldstream had unique access to his personal archives and to friends and family. The result is a facinating biography of a complex and enigmatic personality. 'Biographies only tend to be definitive until the next one comes along, but there's no danger of Coldstream's erundite, moving analysis ever being superseded' - Independant on Sunday. To order call 0207 278 7654.
In his short life, disco sensation Sylvester led the young people of the American nation to San Francisco and on to a liberation that was real, mighty real, where nothing was straightlaced or old-fashioned. Sociologist Joshua Gamson uses Sylvester's story to take us through the 1970s, when a generation took off its shame. Explorations of race, celebrity, and music history mingle in this endlessly entertaining account of a singer who embodied the freedom, spirit, and flamboyance of a golden moment in American culture.
"An unexpectedly beautiful story about a boy who was a little different but who was determined to be himself at a time when, Lord knows, that wasn't easy. Sylvester became more than just another famous singer; he stood for something real and became an amazing force. Gamson Movingly captures his spirit." Sandra Bernhard. To order call 0207 278 7654.
Hollywood director, John Schlesinger's career in cinema, stage, opera and television spanned half a century. Films like Midnight Cowboy, Far From the Madding Crowd and Sunday Bloody Sunday demolished social boundaries, became cult classics and made cinematic history. On Nerw Year's Day, 2001, Schlesinger suffered a massive stroke that left him speechless and largely immobile. On the 24th July 2003, he died. Leaving thousands of hours of taped diaries, it looked as though the autiobiography would be locked away forever - until journalist and author William J. Mann arrived on the scene. Edge of Midnight is William J. Mann's attempt to reach and understand the silent man in the wheelchair - a man with brilliant blue eyes who achieved so much but who once confessed himself 'afraid to love'. A facinating and well-researched portrait. To order call 0207 278 7654
This hugely funny and genuinely moving biography is a GTW favourite. An inspiring portrait of the unique and improbable friendship between Christopher Robbins, then an impoverished writer in his twenties, and Brian Desmond Hurst, Ireland's most prolific film director. Full of character, incident and humour, Robbins' memoir is a warm and wonderful tribute to friendship and to one of life's true originals. Newly out in paperback. To order call 0207 278 7654.
This is a truly impressive and authoritative biography of an incredibly talented and perceptive writer. An unmatched chronicler of pre-Hitler Berlin, an experimental dramatist, a war reporter, travel writer, pacifist, Hollywood screenwriter, monk and champion of gay liberation. Full facinating details about his family life, the truth about his sexual attraction to adolescents and the glittering array of his lifelong friends. Newly out in paperback. To order call 0207 278 7654.
In 1952 Janet Flanner began dispatching her famous New Yorker 'Letter From Paris', from which most of the pieces in this collection are drawn. Together, they give an incomparable view of French political, social and cultural life in the years between the electrifying debut of Josephine Baker and the evacuation of Paris at the outbreak of the war. Flanner writes with equal eloquence of Isadora Duncan's art, Stavisky's swindling and the Munich Accord. She registers the impact of the Americans on Paris - Lindbergh, Mae West, Hemingway - and marks the passing of the great and near great, from Ravel and Le Goulue to Clemenceau and Mme Curie. Some of her most riveting reports deal with crimes of passion. And she tells little-known facts about the chief executioner of France and the heartbreaking exodus from Spain into France during the Spanish Civil War. In a sequence of dazzling vignettes and essays, Paris is captured in its golden hour. To order call 0207 278 7654.
When Ben Duncan chronicled his evolution from Depression-era orphan in Alabama to an Oxford educated writer and commentator in England in 1962, he was unable to tell his whole story. He revealed much - a harrowing childhood, his tenacity and drive for self-definition and self-creation. But he also hid crucial parts of his life that would remain masked for fifty years. As a gay man living in Great Britian at a time when homosexuality was aggressively prosecuted in the courts, Duncan was forced to hide an essential feature of his life and identity. Now, in The Same Language, Duncan tells his story anew, weaving throughout his original memoir italic passages that reveal the true circmstances of his life - dire, humorous, and angry by turns - and honor the kinds of love, sexuality, and support that aminated his existence. Shifting from past to present and back again, Duncan tells of growing up in a string of foster homes, joining the military, earning a schlorship to Oxford, and negotiating the Kafkaesque bureaucracy of English immigration officials determined to keep him out. But here also is Duncan's account of his evolving sexuality, the many masks he was forced to contrive for survival and acceptance, and a vivid rendering of the underground world of gay life at every level of academia, politics, class, and social life in '50s and '60s Britian. Lucid, generous and eminently readable. To order call 0207 278 7654.
During his thirty-seven years at Smith College, Newton Arvin published groundbreaking studies of Hawthorne, Whitman, Melville and Longfellow that today stand as models of scholorship and phychological acuity. He cultivated friendships with the likes of Edmund Wilson and Lillian Hellman and became mentor to Truman Capote. A social radical and closeted homosexual, the circumspect Arvin nevertheless survived McCarthyism. But in September 1960 his apartment was raided, and his cache of beefcake erotica was confiscated, plunging him into confusion and despair and provoking his panicked betrayal of several friends. An utterly absorbing chronical, The Scarlet Professor deftly captures the essence of a conflicted man and offers a provocative and unsettling look at American moral fanaticism. To order call 0207 278 7654.
When John Rechy broke out in 1963 as the bestselling author of City of Night, his novel about the underworld of gay male prostitution, he became a source for provocative commentary on sexually trasgressive topics as varied as The New York Times, the Nation, the New York Review of Books, and the Advocate. However, Rechy has also distinguished himself as a cultural observer on matters of race, religion, politics, and literature. Beneath the Skin collects more than four decades of his outspoken essays - many never before reprinted and almost none ever appearing previously in book form - along with new additional commentary by the author.
"One of the most heroic figures of contemporary American life...a touchstone of moral integrity and artistic innovation." Edmund White. To order call 0207 278 7654.