Biographies and memoirs are an important genre, full of insights about lives or about how other people view lives. And with that grand statement without insight, I introduce this post about biographies and memoirs for LGBT history month in the UK. Today’s post is not only a post, but an invitation to share. I’m starting off with some suggestions from me and then opening up the floor for people to share their favourite LGBT biographies and memoirs so that everyone can build up a nice reading list. Or feel smug they’ve read them all, I guess.
- Close to the Knives by David Wojnarowicz – I read this the other day as there’s a new edition coming out in the UK (and reviewed it on Goodreads) so thought it was a good place to start. A memoir by artist David Wojnarowicz written in various styles and documenting his troubled life and the AIDS crisis in the 80s and 90s. A powerful, political read.
- Prick Up Your Ears by John Lahr – Lahr’s famous biography of playwright Joe Orton quotes from Orton’s diaries and explores the exploits and troubles of his life. It was made into a film in the 80s with a young Gary Oldman and is a great place to start for anyone interested in Orton and his life and works.
- Byron: Life and Legend by Fiona MacCarthy – The Byron biography I recommend anyone who even makes a passing mention of him, MacCarthy’s is well researched, quotes primary material a lot, and, notable for the purposes of this list, does not shy away from talking about his interests in both men and women. And yes, she talks about the bear too.
Please share your favourites, especially those not by/about men (and mostly writers) as mine has turned out to be.