Faggots by Larry Kramer
Graphically sexual and one of the most all-time best-selling gay novels, Faggots is the story of Fred Lemish, who at thirty-nine has built up his body into a fatless state of being in Great Shape. Lemish is ready to find Mr. Right. But from the Everhard Baths to the Pines on Fire Island to that place of myth and story, The Meat Rack, he is looking for his dream lover in all the wrong places. Faggots is a fierce satire of the gay ghetto and a touching story of one man’s desperate search for permanence, commitment, and love.
First published 1978. Introduction by Reynolds Price.
“Faggots, for all its excesses, is frequently right on target and, when it is on target, is appallingly funny.” – Edward Albee
“Larry Kramer is one of America’s most valuable troublemakers. I hope he never lowers his voice.” – Susan Sontag
“As a documentation of an era, as savage and savagely funny social parody, as a cry in the wilderness, and as a prescient, accurate reading of the writing on the wall, the novel is peerless and utterly necessary. It is brilliant, bellicose, contemptuous, compassionate and–as is true of everything Kramer writes–behind its delectable, entertaining, sometimes maddening harshness is a profoundly moving plea for justice and for love. There are few books in modern gay fiction, or modern fiction for that matter, that must be read. Faggots is certainly one of them.” – Tony Kushner
“[Faggots] sends up New York’s self-imposed gay ghetto, doing for its gyms, discos, orgy rooms, army fatigues, mustaches, and advertising agencies what Portnoy’s Complaint did for Mom and masturbation. Faggots is the Uncle Tom’s Cabin for homosexual men whose worst oppression is their lack of courage to change the way they live.” – Library Journal
“A corrosive study of the gay underbelly of New York . . . Faggots has the air of a Restoration comedy in its mix of Baroque style and bawdy, scathing humor.” – Women’s Wear Daily
“A book of major historical importance–the first contemporary novel to chronicle gay life with unsparing honesty and wild humor. Larry Kramer has changed the way we think about gay men. He is one of our great humanists.” – Erica Jong
“Writing as always from an affirmatively homosexual point of view, Kramer in this novel conveys a sense of premonitory unease, even foreboding, about the spread of promiscuity, sadomasochism and narcotics among the homosexual population . . . more graphic than James Baldwin or Hubert Selby.” –Times Literary Supplement
“It would come to resemble her, Picasso said of his Stein portrait–and so with Kramer’s of New York gay life, which I had thought so entertaining, so extravagant, ever so preposterous a lustrum ago. It has come to resemble it, in tragic guise, but with tremendous application to our discordant truth: Faggots is still the mirror we must look into, fun-house or carnal-house–it shows the man.” – Richard Howard
“Faggots struck a chord. It exuded a sense that gay men could do better if they understood themselves as fully human, if they could shed their self-loathing and self-deception. . . . I loved it.” – Andrew Sullivan
Imprint: Grove Atlantic
Publication Date: 23 June 2020