Taking pride in LGBTQ+ authors

Some of our greatest thinkers and authors have been LGBTQ+. They have offered refreshingly different perspectives on everyday life and many wrote stories and essays that shared their intersectional lived experience as LGBTQ+ women and or people of the global majority.

There are posters around the Library celebrating LGBTQ+ authors and letting you know where some of their most famous works can be found this LGBTQ+ Pride Month, as well as a book display in the Atrium bringing some of these works together to make them even easier to find.

Here are a selection of LGBTQ+ authors you can find in our collections.

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

Dublin born Irish playwright, poet and wit Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was a spokesman for the late nineteenth century Aesthetic movement in England that advocated art for art’s sake.  Living at a time when homosexuality was a criminal offence in England, Oscar Wilde was convicted of homosexuality acts in civil and then criminal law suits and died in prison.  He remains famous for his comic plays and only novel, The picture of Dorian Gray, which it is believed was a parody of Wilde’s younger lover.

Books by Oscar Wilde

Michel Foucault

Michel Foucault

Born in Poitiers, France, Michel Foucault (1926–1984) was an activist, historian and philosopher associated with the structuralist and post-structuralist movements. He has had a strong influence not only in philosophy but also in a wide range of humanistic and social scientific disciplines. Foucault was one of the first interdisciplinary scholars who applied his background in Psychology and Sociology and historical methods to illuminate problems in philosophy and used this wide-ranging our understanding of contemporary society. He was also a political activist until his untimely death around the outbreak of the AIDS pandemic in 1984.

Books by Michel Foucault

Armistead Maupin

Born in Washington DC and raised in North Carolina, Armistead Maupin is famous for his chronicle of the lives of eccentric inhabitants of an apartment complex in 1970s San Francisco that used humour to address loneliness, parenthood, ageing and death.  Maupin served in the US Navy and later volunteered as a civilian during the Vietnam conflict but his main career was as a newspaper reporter.

Books by Armistead Maupin

Evelyn Waugh

English novelist, biographer and travel book writer Arthur Evelyn St John Waugh travelled extensively as a newspaper correspondent. He served as a Royal Marine and soldier during the Second World War. Conservative and a passionate Catholic, Waugh deplored the decline of religion in modern society. He died an old man, cursing his failing health and declaring all fates worse than death.

Books by Evelyn Waugh

Scoop: a novel about journalists (820.71 WAU)
The loved one: an Anglo-American tragedy (820.71 WAU)
Brideshead revisited (820.71 WAU)
Decline and fall: a novel (820.71 WAU)

Mary Oliver

Born and raised in Maple Hills Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, Mary Oliver retreated from a difficult home to the nearby woods, where she would build huts of sticks and grass and write poems. One of the great poets of the twentieth century, her works evoke the feelings and vulnerabilities of the natural world and celebrate embodied existence in all its nuanced complexity.

Books by Mary Oliver

The Truro bear and other adventures: poems and essays  [ebook]

W H Auden

British-American poet W H Auden’s poetry has sharply divided critics.  Despite being openly gay, Auden married lesbian novelist Erika Ann purely so that she could gain British citizenship and escape Nazi Germany but continued to take male lovers throughout his life.  Auden became a Professor of Poetry at Oxford University and died of heart failure in Vienna after giving a reading of his poems.

Books by W H Auden

Val McDermid

Growing up in a mining village on the Scottish coast, Val McDermid was one of the youngest undergraduates accepted to read English at Oxford University aged just 17.  Rejecting traditional careers, she went on to puruse a career in journalism, before writing her first play aged 23 and building a career as a writer.

Books by Val McDermid

Audre Lorde

A self-described “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” Audre Lorde dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing injustices of racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia. Born in New York City to West Indian immigrant parents, when young she would memorise poetry and recall lines from poems to express herself, saying that “I literally communicated through poetry”. When she ran out of poems to express her feelings, she began writing her own.  Lorde made contributions to  feminist theory, critical race studies, and queer theory blending personal experience with broader political aims to reshape the political, cultural and academic landscape.

Books by Audre Lorde

Kacen Callendar

Former editor and multi-award winning bestselling author Kacen Callender of multiple novels for children, teens, and adults, including the National Book Award-winning King and the Dragonflies and the bestselling novel Felix Ever After, Black, trans, nonbinary writer Kacen Callendar is a leading contemporary author.

Books by Kacen Callendar

James Baldwin

American writer and civil rights activist James Arthur Baldwin (1924-1987) is praised for writing one of the greatest English language novels, Go tell it on the mountain.  He wrote essays calling for human equality and became a well-known public figure and orator, especially during the civil rights movement in the United States.

Books by James Baldwin

Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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