De FORREST, Michael

The Gay Year

New York: Woodford Press, 1949

8vo, pp. 267. Original black cloth, lettered in yellow on spine. Light mottling to edges of text block, contemporary owner's name on front free endpaper, but a very good copy in the scarce dustwrapper, a little chipped, worn and rubbed, and with the front flap almost detached at the fold but kept in place by the protective sleeve. Overall a very good copy.

First edition.
While use of the word 'gay' to denote homosexuality can be traced back at least to the 1920s and Gertrude Stein, de Forrest may well have been the first to use it in a title. The author's blurb on the back panel falls over itself to proclaim de Forrest's heterosexuality. The book itself attests to his ignorance : hardly an 'attempt at understanding', as the blurb claims, more a toxic stew of prurient misconceptions which lurches to an end by having the central character find salvation in the arms of a woman. Bibliographically interesting but a literary disaster, and mercifully rare.
Slide 17

Keywords: Michael De Forrest

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