More About the Author
Jack Fritscher emerging from the gay past exists, both now and in the future, as a pioneer participant in gay culture and as a critic chronicling analytical witness to that history. He is the double-jointed author of literary fiction as well as of erotic fiction, including 4 novels, 5 fiction anthologies, 3 nonfiction books, and 2 produced plays. He is also the director and videographer of 170 feature videos. A Gemini, born June 20, 1939, he has balanced twin careers in literature and erotica--often recombinantly.
MID-CENTURY GAY WRITERS
A gay pioneer from the 1960s, he wrote the 1968 novel, "I Am Curious (Leather)," began before Stonewall his research on "Popular Witchcraft," befriended the legendary and elderly gay author Sam Steward (Phil Andros) in 1969, and became the founding San Francisco editor shaping the legendary "Drummer" magazine (1975) which published his features, fiction, and photographs for 25 years in more than 62 issues. Those writings and photographs, annotated with historical commentary by the author, are available free online at this site.
In 1953 at age 14, he came out into the closeted gay world by writing a "gladiator novel" while attending the Vatican's ultra-exclusive Catholic seminary, the Pontifical College Josephinum, where the bullies were not the jocks but the opera-and-liturgy queens. His short fiction was first published in 1958 in the Catholic press.
Also adolescents at this time, his American gay peers were John Rechy; William Carney; Rita Mae Brown; and Dorothy Allison; as well as Andrew Holleran, Felice Picano, and Edmund White who founded their Violet Quill in late 1980.
These mid-century careers made possible the next generation: the fin de siecle writers who appeared after HIV in 1982. They rose during the late-80s invention of history's first viable small lesbigay book publishers whose anthologies took the place of the once-flourishing gay magazines which by the millennium had collapsed because of internet competition.
DIVERSITY, PERVERSITY. THEOLOGY, PHILOSOPHY
As a diverse wild card among his 20th-century contemporaries, Fritscher is the only Catholic writer, and the only actual holder of an earned PhD in literature. In addition, he is the only writer who also composes and creates as a photographer and videographer. In 1966, he wrote the world's first PhD dissertation on Tennessee Williams titled "Love and Death in Tennessee Williams: His Philosophy and Theology." Themes and rituals of Catholicism thread through his fiction and nonfiction from the incarnational "Some Dance to Remember" to the passion and death of "Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera." His formal training in philosophy, theology, literature, and criticism is the architecture of his sweeping historical work on witchcraft, the drama of Tennessee Williams, the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe, and the popular culture of homosexuality. His photography is a succession of heroic and suffering images from the "Roman Martyrology of the Saints."