Ostentatiously discreet
Bisexual camp in The Stranger’s Child
in Alan Hollinghurst
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While many of the characters in Hollinghurst’s most recent novel can be more readily understood as bisexual than homosexual, much of the critical discussion around the text has situated it in terms of a gay identity and literary culture and thus erased its many bisexualities. Much attention has also been drawn to the lack of explicit sex in the novel when compared to Hollinghurst’s earlier works. Viewing the text’s narrative structure and less-direct approach to sex through the lens of bisexual camp, this essay reads in The Stranger’s Child a critique of the persistent rewriting of bisexuality as gay, queer, or immature, and a resistance to the category of the gay novel, which nevertheless anticipates its own reception as one.

Alan Hollinghurst

Writing under the influence


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