Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Wild Man

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Wild Man

Article excerpt

The Wild Man * Patricia Nell Warren * Wildcat Press * $19.95

Wild about Patricia

The author of The Front Runner jumps into the bullring with her new novel, along that familiar white-hot gay passion

You know what they say: Lesbians are from Mars. gay men are from Venus. When it comes to love. the boys are bionic bad girls with the mysterious power to trawl the tearooms and pose atop the wedding cake. Meanwhile--underneath the lipstick--most lesbians, over 30 anyway, are still working on the stoic, heroic marriage model of the "greatest generation." We wade in, lay siege to our women, and stick with them, damn it, whether it works out or not.

Gay men and lesbians amuse each other; we regard each other with affection. But we've always known that neither team necessarily understands what makes the other tick.

That's one reason Patricia Nell Warren has won a lasting place in queer history. She was one of the first contemporary lesbian interpreters of gay male behavior--and she remains one of the most fluent. Her new novel, The Wild Man, is set in Franco's Spain of the 1960s and tells the story of a gay bullfighter. But leave out the exotic setting, and the book shares many virtues with her 1974 hit, The Front Runner, a gay love story--equally popular with men and women--that plays out between a tough college track coach and an idealistic Olympic-lass runner on his team.

The similarities, it turns out, are no accident: Warren began writing Wild Man as a young reporter on assignment in Spain, long before she wrote Front Runner--or came out as a lesbian herself. But in both novels her own identity and passions drive those of her heroes.

Warren's gay men behave in ways that lesbians understand. After a lifetime of lonely searching, they fall in love with one guy, till death do them part. Mutual machismo hinders their courting. …

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