This pioneering work is the first book to systematically explore the literature of gay and lesbian writers of color in the United States. Critical Essays challenges the marginalization and tokenization of gay men and lesbians of color in the dominant academic discourses by focusing exclusively on the imaginative work of representative Native-American, Asian-American, Latino(a), and African-American gay and lesbian writers. As the first book offering a scholarly assessment of ethnic gay and lesbian writing in the U.S., Critical Essays simultaneously defies ethnic and mainstream homophobia as well as straight and gay/lesbian racism. This deliberate counter to the dominant white discourse of gay and lesbian literature offers a lively contribution to the debate on the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender/sexuality and class in American literature. A wide range of critical approaches, including historical readings, cultural analysis, and deconstructive criticism, is employed to the works of such major literary figures as Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, John Rechy, Paula Gunn Allen, and Gloria Anzaldúa. These thought-provoking chapters disrupt the complacent notion of a unified gay/lesbian community by questioning the presumed similarities of persons who share sexual identity. Some of the specific topics explored in Critical Essays include:
- post-coloniality and gay/lesbian identities
- emerging Asian-American gay and lesbian writers
- redefining the Harlem Renaissance from gay perspectives
- contemporary African-American gay male performance art
- relocating the gay FilipinoThis groundbreaking volume will be of immense interest to undergraduate, graduate, and advanced scholars in Gay and Lesbian studies, Women’s studies, African-American studies, Asian-American studies, Latino(a) studies and Native-American studies. It will also serve students and scholars as a valuable introduction to the diversity of authors that comprise twentieth-century American literature.