Faggot Forefathers: Week Twenty-Nine

“I’m ashamed to say I don’t remember any of my dreams. I probably do, but don’t remember them. Maybe because I’m dreaming all day.”

    James Purdy

    (July 17, 1914 – 2009)

    Sign: Cancer

Gay American writer of Gothic novels, short stories and plays. His 1967 novel Eustace Chisholm And the Works, despite critical acclaim by other gay writers, wrecked his career due to its frank depiction of unrequited queer love.

Championed by British poet Edith Sitwell, Purdy found more commercial success abroad than in the United States during his career. His work was divisive among critics, preventing mainstream recognition and positioning him as a favorite among fans of “underground” literature. 

“Faggot Forefathers” is a weekly series highlighting the lives of historically significant gay men and their contributions to our world. 

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