The first version of The Beautiful Room Is Empty was the first mss. I'd ever submitted to New York editors.
Explore more quotes
Barack Obama's decision to come out in favour of gay marriage may be a historic occasion, but it is not an isolated one. His administration has been making pro-gay noises for some time; his demographic in the upcoming election is young and educated, precisely the group that favours equality for the LGBT community.
I can remember in the late 1980s and early 1990s how many men with AIDS I saw everywhere in Key West. There were hospices and medical supply stores geared to people with AIDS. It seemed that every sick man who could afford it had headed for the warmth and the tranquillity and the gay-friendliness of the island.
I changed my writing style deliberately. My first two novels were written in a very self-consciously literary way. After I embraced gay subject matter, which was then new, I didn't want to stand in its way. I wanted to make the style as transparent as possible so I could get on with it and tell the story, which was inherently interesting.
I lived through the Fifties in the Midwest when everything that was happening - the repression of homosexuality, for instance, the demonization of the Left, the giggly, soporific ordinariness of adolescence, the stone-deafness to the social injustice all around us - seemed not only unobjectionable but also nonexistent.
I'm an atheist, I always thought, 'This is it.' If there is going to be a heaven, it should be on earth. I feel much happier than most people. I'm fairly stoic about death, but I'm not keen on dying if it's going to be long and protracted. I don't have dark nights of the soul, except occasionally. I'm such a little busy bee.