American novelist and essayist, born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Nocturnes for the King of Naples (1978) is a non‐realistic novel dealing with homosexual themes which were pursued more realistically in A Boy's Own Story (1982), a poignant, poetic, frank yet restrained first‐person narration describing the gay adolescence of a child of divorced parents, both of whom are vividly evoked. This work brought him much acclaim, and was followed by the sequels The Beautiful Room is Empty (1988) and The Farewell Symphony (1997), the last of which moves into the AIDS era. His other works include States of Desire: Travels in Gay America (1980); the novels Caracole (1985), a Venetian fairy story, The Married Man (2000), and Fanny (2003), a fictional biography of the 19th‐cent. American feminist, Fanny Wright; and The Darker Proof: Stories from a Crisis (1987, with Mars‐Jones). My Lives (2006) is an autobiography.