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The Beauty Queen Paperback – June 1, 1996

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Patricia Nell Warren is the landmark author of some of the most popular gay novels of all time. Each of her books has been a milestone in America’s understanding and acceptance of GBLT themes. Her most beloved work, The Front Runner, has sold an estimated ten million copies in ten languages. The first modern story about gay love to become an international bestseller, Warren’s celebrated saga of an ex-Marine track coach and his Olympics-bound athlete has engaged and inspired both gay and mainstream readers for over a quarter of a century. Warren’s novels have also sold heavily to libraries and are used in numerous college courses. Wildcat Press is Ms. Warren’s exclusive imprint, offering some of the best in enduring gay literature. Established in 1993, the dynamic independent publisher has released both past and present bestsellers, winning it critical acclaim. Current titles include, The Front Runner, Billy’s Boy, Harlan’s Race, The Fancy Dancer, The Beauty Queen, One Is The Sun, and The Wild Man. Dedicated to furthering free speech, Wildcat Press has been one of the plaintiffs for the ACLU in several recent landmark lawsuits, two of which went to the United States Supreme Court. Wildcat maintains that we are all one community regardless of race, creed, or sexual orientation, and that tolerance brings understanding and acceptance.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Wildcat Press (June 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964109980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964109988
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,243,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author




Patricia Nell Warren has written and published professionally since 1954, at age 18. In 59 years, her subjects have ranged from women and Goddess Earth to human rights, from gay life and mixed-blood people in American history to wildlife, the environment and current events.

Now 76 years old, she was born in 1936 and raised on a Montana ranch. She worked as a Reader's Digest book editor for 15 years, on both the magazine staff and the Condensed Book Club.

Today Warren lives in Glendale, CA, where she co-owns an independent book-publishing and media company, Wildcat International and Wildcat Press.


Since 1971 Warren has published eight novels -- several with mainstream publishers (Morrow, Bantam, Ballantine, Dial Press, Penguin) and several under her own independent imprint, Wildcat Press. The Front Runner, Harlan's Race and Billy's Boy are a landmark series that follows an evolving family through 20 years of gay life.

She also published two mainstream novels, The Last Centennial (1971) and One Is the Sun (1991).

Warren's best-known fiction work, The Front Runner, was first published by William Morrow in 1974, and became the most popular gay love story of all time. The book has sold an estimated 10 million copies worldwide and been translated into ten languages, the most recent being Complex Chinese.

Film rights of The Front Runner have been in development for some years, and received a great deal attention as one of "Hollywood's unmade gay films" during Brokeback Mountain's run-up for the Academy Awards.

Currently Warren is working on a new novel titled Wrong Side of the Tracks.


Warren's newest title is her second nonfiction book. It's titled My West: Personal Writings on the American West, an anthology of nonfiction articles about Warren's roots in the historical and modern West. Published in 2011, it won an international Rainbow Award in the nonfiction category.

Warren's articles and op-eds have appeared in a variety of mainstream publications, including Atlantic Monthly, Los Angeles Times, Reader's Digest, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Modern Maturity, Persimmon Hill, New York Press, Des Moines Register, Mythosphere, Corporate Africa. She has also published in various leading gay publications.

For A & U Magazine she writes a monthly column on the politics of AIDS and public health. Online, she blogs at The Bilerico Project, the most popular and politically vociferous glbt blog on the Web.

Film Development

As a result of interest in movies based on her novels, Warren has moved into active development herself as an executive producer, in partnership with Greg Zanfardino of Moniker Entertainment. At present, she has several docudrama projects on her slate, including an Australian group's novel search for the wreck site of Amelia Earhart's aircraft in Papua New Guinea.

Activism and Politics

Warren's political activism started during the 1960s, with efforts -- while still a Reader's Digest editor -- to have American media recognize the individuality of Ukrainians and other ethnic groups in the USSR.

In the 1970s Warren was the plaintiffs' spokesperson for Susan Smith v. Reader's Digest, a landmark lawsuit that resulted in a class-action victory for women. As a former amateur athlete, Warren helped lead a group of women distance runners who forced the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union, the then governing body of amateur sports in the U.S.) to change discriminatory rules in the mid-70s.

More recently, in the free-speech realm, Warren has been a named plaintiff in both federal lawsuits over Internet censorship -- namely ACLU v. Reno (which went to the U.S. Supreme Court and resulted in a victory for the plaintiffs) and the more recent ACLU lawsuit over the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), which was also struck down as unconstitutional.

As recognition for her activism, Warren has won a number of awards, including New York City's Public Advocate Award and the Barry Goldwater Award.


More information on Warren can be found at: www.wildcatpress.com and www.patricianellwarren.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
Jeannie Colter had gone through a nervous break down from politics. Then she saw the article in the paper: GAY RIGHTS BILL TO BE REVIVED IN CITY COUNCIL. Jeannie is suddenly running for governor of New York. The first thing she would do is shoot that bill down. Then she would get all the gays and lesbians out of New York. She would make it illegal to hire them or rent to them. They needed to see the light of God and be Saved.
Unknown to Jeannie, her father was gay. He was still "in the closet" about it though and kept quiet about his lover, Marion.
Mary Ellen was a Sergeant in the N.Y.P.D. She was a lesbian, but the Force did not know that. Her partner, Danny, was gay. The two made an unbeatable team on the Force. When they both were laid off, Danny came "out of the closet". He was soon beaten to death by one of Jeannie Colter's fans.
Mary Ellen convinced Jeannie to hire her as a body guard. Danny's lover had convinced Mary Ellen to kill Jeannie and he would take the blame.
****This book takes religion, gay rights, and politics and rolls them together to give you all sides of the story. I saw how both sides saw the Bible and its words in a different light. This book does not pretend to have all the answers to all the political or religious questions. But it can open the eyes of ALL RACES AND BOTH SEXES and let them see this topic in a whole new way. Incredible writing!***
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Format: Paperback
A lot of genre fiction is usually trite or predictable, but I really enjoyed the story of a closeted gay father and her conservative daughter who runs for office. The stories of the father's gay lover, the young lesbian couple, and the closeted gay cop are also equally intriguing. And sadly, it shows that even though a lot has changed for the LGBT community, a person like Jeanne Colter (an obvious riff on Anita Bryant) could still cause havoc for the gay community even if they reside in a large city like NY.
I have not read any of Warren's other books, but now I will.
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Format: Paperback
Take a closeted gay man, his republican beauty queen daughter, and have him finance her bid for state office in New York, and you have a brilliant novel! Patricia Nell Warren hooked me with The Front Runner series of books. And when I read this book, there were many times I found myself smiling and laughing. Set in the 70s, the book does read like a comical version of Anita Bryant's (I hope I have that name right) campaign to extinguish gay rights bills. But this book, takes that true life event, and plugs the readers in deeper to the state of minds of its principal characters. It is touching, humorous, and passionate. It delves into the life of a gay man, his deep love for his daughter, and how two lives that should be so close are often so distant.
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Format: Paperback
Ok, I know I'll catch a lot of flack for this, but I liked it better than The Front Runner. I found the characters in this book to be less stereotypical and saccharin, and much more believable. The side stories to me were just as intriguing as the main plot, especially the very tender and well written S&M romance between two characters, one of whom is a closeted cop. An unusual theme, and written with surprising insight and sympathy. This is one of the few books that I have ever had to lay down for a moment to cry before I could finish reading it.
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By A Customer on July 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
I became furious while reading this book because I wanted to smash Jeanie Colter's head in for her ignorance. But towards the end of the book, as her life began to fall apart, I began to soften just a bit. Finding out her father was gay was the last straw for her. It was then she realized that no matter how much she abhored homosexualism, she loved her father. I tormented as Bill was torn about how to handle his dealings with his daughter and as well as Marion in the proccess. Danny being killed brought the attention of Sue Ellen's and Bill's path being forced to cross by fate. In the end, it was love that pulled things together and smoothed over a possible bad situation. Patricia Nell Warren writes with passion, depth of emotion, and even whimsy;, but her story comes shining through and leaves the reader clamoring for more.
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