Gay & Lesbian Biography by Michael J. Tyrkus

cover of the book Gay & Lesbian BiographyGay & Lesbian Biography by Michael J. Tyrkus
Genre: Biography; Reference
Copyright Year:
Published: 1997
Publisher: St. James Press
Editor: Michael J. Tyrkus
Format: Hardcover
No. of Pages: 513
No. In Series:
ISBN: 9781558622371
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The first edition of Gay & Lesbian Biography endorsed by the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Task Force of the American Library Association’s Social Responsibilities Roundtable, provides biographical information on 275 gays and lesbians who have had significant impact on history or who are currently active in the gay and lesbian communities. Entries provide biographical information, birth, death, nationality and occupation data. The essays, written by experts in the field, discuss the entrant’s life and importance to the gay and lesbian communities — From Library Journal Endorsed by the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Task Force and compiled under the guidance of an advisory board of librarians and writers, this single-volume biographical dictionary brings together entries on 275 notable people from a full range of professions and historical epochs. The nationality index shows a strong bent toward U. S. and British citizens, and the occupation and general subject indexes demonstrate a propensity for literary figures. Such imbalances, however, are inevitable given the breadth of the subject and defensible given the presumptive audience. The real problem lies in the entries, contributed largely by nonspecialist freelance writers. Ranging from a single column to over two pages, each entry opens with the entrant’s name, years of birth and (when appropriate) death, and occupation, followed by a narrative essay, current address (again, when appropriate), and citations to the books and/or magazine articles used in compiling the essay. The essays themselves vary in writing quality, though most catch the important events and, appropriately, emphasize the ‘queerer’ aspects of the entrant’s lives. But the decision not to include lists of works for writers, filmmakers, and composers is inexplicable. Just as baffling are the references, which overlook important biographies, cite titles incorrectly, and frequently include trivial articles from popular magazines. This could have filled a need, providing honest accounts of a number of figures whose ‘straightened out’ lives are included in more general biographical works. A lack of competition, however, is no excuse for incomplete research. Most libraries can make do with The Gay and Lesbian Literary Heritage (LJ 6/1/95), a masterly work, though narrower in scope. Recommended only for large gay and lesbian studies collections. ? Eric Bryant, ‘Library Journal’ Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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