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Gay Literary Movement

July 03, 1994

While I appreciate the courage and accomplishments of the writers of the "Violet Quill Club," and Jameson Currier's survey of them in his review in your pages (Book Review, May 1), I take gentle exception to his penultimate statement, " . . . the Quill was the first really 'gay' literary movement."

From 1961, when Doric Wilson produced his play, "Now She Dances" at the Caffe Cino in New York, there was a gay literary movement in full force. Doric's play was followed by fully gay works by Lanford Wilson, myself, William M. Hoffman, George Birmisa, Robert Heide, Daniel Haben Clark and Jean-Claude Van Itallie, first at the Cino then at La Mama, the Old Reliable and at theaters all over Manhattan and thence worldwide.

It took years for these plays to be printed, and their audiences for any one production were small, but productions and revivals were and are widespread. Taking nothing from the achievements of the Violet Quill Club, I do think we deserve our place in literary history.

ROBERT PATRICK, LOS ANGELES

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