Confessions of a Literary Fag Hag

About a few weeks ago now I went through Matt Smith’s back catalogue. This included his tele-movie; Christopher And His Kind, in which he plays Christopher Isherwood, a gay writer who lives in Berlin before Hitler came to power – brilliant movie but that is beside the point. I got the novel of the same title that the movie was based on and can’t put it down. It was then when I realized I am a total fag hag of literature. I met a freelance writer during the Emerging Writers Festival who is gay and there is also the greats as Oscar Wilde. This post is to introduce you to them, in the hope that you will at least have a look and consider reading.

Christopher Isherwood

1904 – 1986, born in England: naturalised American.

Christopher went to live in Berlin shortly after his first book The Memorial was published in 1932. He wrote a number of books, full list here. Here are the most notable ones:

  • Mr Norris Changes Trains
  • Sally Bowles
  • The Berlin Stories
  • A Single Man
  • Christopher and His Kind

What I am reading: Christopher and His Kind

His writing style is basing characters in his book around people that he knew while he was in Berlin, although some stories where switched around and facts were twisted slightly. He talks about himself in 3rd person relating personal experiences with generalizations.

Why I like Christopher Isherwood?

I have always been a fan of biographies and I also love world history. So, combining the two topics I have been in heaven with his autobiography. After this I plan to read The Berlin Stories and track the differences and time-lines of when things happened to when Christopher wrote that they happened.

Oscar Wilde

1854 – 1900, born in Ireland.

Oscar wrote many short stories, poetry and plays. His most notable works are:

  • The Picture of Dorian Grey
  • The Importance of Being Earnest

Why I like Oscar Wilde?

I have seen both movie’s of Earnest and Dorian; and want to read both books to see the differences and Oscar’s original take.

Benjamin Law

1982 -, born in Australia.

I met Ben at this years Emerging Writers Festival and was a lovely writer. His first book, The Family Law was published last year. Benjamin has been published in many magazines including; The Monthly, Crikey and The Drum. He is a senior contributor to frankie magazine.

He’s currently working on his second book, a collection of non-fiction looking at queer people and communities throughout Asia. It has the working title of Gaysia.

Here is a link to Overland Journal’s article that Benjamin Law wrote that is in it’s current issue.

I am not sure why I like these writers; it is not because they are gay although that is the thing they all have in common. Isherwood, Wilde and Law all do something as writers that I love – humour. Yet they all have different perspectives on a lot of issues that I either agree or identify with.

So to Isherwood, Wilde and Law I say THANK YOU!

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