Death of an American Character: A Tribute to Gore Vidal

It’s always a loss when the great die. It’s less of a loss when they die leaving so much of themselves behind. Vidal lived life more fully than most people can ever envision. Despite his assertion of his icy bastardliness as a person, his work shines and pivots, sparkles and entrances. … read more

Novelist and Essayist Gore Vidal, 86, has Died

The iconic author Gore Vidal, who was best known for his ground-breaking novels (The City and the Pillar, Myra Breckinridge) and acerbic political essays, died on Tuesday in Los Angeles, California. He was 86.

The cause was complications of pneumonia, according to his nephew Burr Steers. Considered one of the titans of 20th century letters, Vidal, always the gadfly, used his writing to challenge America’s “puritanical” sexual and cultural mores and “imperialist foreign policies.”… read more

Literary Mixtape: Aspects of Myra, Reflected in Film (1935–45)

Gore Vidal’s Myra Breckenridge (1968) is my favorite novel, LGBT or otherwise. And Myra is my favorite literary character, LGBT or otherwise. As I typed (already past tense) that first sentence I hesitated for a few reasons. I think Myra would detest being labeled LGBT, and I fear her wrath. And who am I to attempt this playlist portrait of the entity that is Myra Breckenridge…. … read more

Gore Vidal Writing As Edgar Box

Fans of Gore Vidal will not want to miss the Vintage Crime, Black Lizard reissue of his three Edgar Box mysteries, originally published in the early 1950s. Even under a pseudonym, they are vintage Vidal. Readers looking for a gay mystery, however, should search elsewhere…. read more

Is There, or Should There Be, Such a Thing as 'Trans Lit'?

There’s a problem right away. If someone like Gore Vidal or Jeffrey Eugenides writes a book about a trans person it is hailed as brilliantly edgy, but if a trans person does the same thing it is likely to be rejected as the work of a self-obsessed weirdo…. read more