From Publishers Weekly
Speculating about who's gay and who isn't has long been a pastime of gossip columnists, gay activists and sports fans. This chatty and informed, if inconclusive, three-millennium survey of queer sports figures holds some surprises, but they aren't contemporary baseball players or figure skating champions. Warren, who gained fame with her 1974 novel about an openly gay track star (The Frontrunner
), doesn't aim for inclusiveness, but she is iconoclastic. Beginning with Achilles and Patroclus, she jumps to Joan of Arc (renowned for her jousting ability), and then George Villiers, duke of Buckingham, one of Europe's first horse breeders when he wasn't dating James I. Twentieth-century figures include Big Bill Tilden, who reinvented men's tennis in 1919 before his career was ruined by a teenage male prostitute; aviator Amelia Earhart, tennis star Martina Navratilova and football player Dave Kopay. Warren essentially uses these sports heroes as an excuse for a series of witty, well-written meditations on such topics as same-sex love—or the lack of it—in movies like Brokeback Mountain
; on gladiators as sex symbols; the importance of fencing in the Harry Potter series; and the politics of hormone testing for women athletes. $30,000 marketing budget. (Nov.)
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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 renowned work, The Front Runner, has sold an estimated eleven million copies in eleven 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.