This is No Book

Gregory Woods, This is No Book: A Gay Reader, book cover

Gregory Woods, This is No Book: A Gay Reader (Mushroom Publications, 1994)

'On gay poetics ... I can't think of anything better' - Alan Sinfield, Gay Times books of the year, 1995

This is a collection of review essays, mainly on gay literature, first published between 1984 and 1993 in European Gay Review, Frontiers, Gay’s the Word Review, Lesbian and Gay Socialist, the New Statesman, Rouge, the Times Literary Supplement and Word and Image. It includes items on Derek Jarman, Edward Carpenter, Langston Hughes, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Umberto Saba, Oscar Wilde, Robert Ferro, Michel Tournier, Federico García Lorca, John Gambril Nicholson, Walt Whitman, Jean Genet, Juan Goytisolo, Lluis Fernandez, Harold Norse, Jean Cocteau, Christopher Bram, Pier Vittorio Tondelli, Hubert Fichte, Paul Bailey and Hervé Guibert.

The book's title is from the poem 'So Long' by Walt Whitman: 'Camerado, this is no book, / Who touches this touches a man'.

From the introduction: 'Whether you live in the remote countryside or in crowded inner-city alienation, gay readings can turn your solitude into solidarity. Few texts could have a nobler purpose than this'.

This book can be purchased from Amazon.

Critical Comments

Our Times (02/95):

Woods's writing is dangerously intelligent and winning ... It's a pity this book isn't longer, it's a true entertainment.

Graeme Woolaston Gay Times (04/95):

It’s intelligent, it’s well-written, it’s interesting.

Alan Sinfield, Gay Times books of the year 1995 (12/95):

It’s a marvellous read — witty and independent and full of shrewd insights from, I suppose, the foremost gay poet working in Britain today. If you want to map out a modern gay canon, start here; a colleague asked me the other day what’s been done on gay poetics, and I can’t think of anything better.

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