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See the Exhibit, Read the Book, Watch the Film!

Department News, Exhibits, Rare Books

Many of the books featured in our current exhibition LGBTQI Literature: Celebrated Classics and Contemporary Works have been adapted into acclaimed movies and TV miniseries. From eighties costume drama Brideshead Revisited to this spring’s HBO film The Normal Heart, the stories of people who identify as LGBTQI have made for compelling drama on the big and small screen.

With the dog days of summer upon us, we recommend that you come view the exhibition, stop off for lunch or dinner at Eric’s Restaurant on campus, and then unwind at home with one of the following:

Those who are suffering from Downton Abbey withdrawal might enjoy the British miniseries Brideshead Revisited (1981), the tale of a friendship that develops between two young men at Oxford in the decade following WWI. Based on the novel by Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead… made a star of Jeremy Irons.

Desert Hearts (1985), directed by Donna Deitch and based on the novel Desert of the Heart by Jane Rule, is considered a classic of lesbian film. It centers on the realistic romance between divorcing housewife Vivian and casino worker Cay in Reno, Nevada.

Steven Spielberg directed The Color Purple (1985), an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker. In it, main character Celie (played by Whoopi Goldberg) finds her life changed by an affair with the beautiful blues singer Shug.

Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City (1993) was the first of three miniseries based on the writer’s popular books about life in a San Francisco apartment building in the 1970s. It starred a less well-known Laura Linney as the naive new tenant Mary Ann, and Olympia Dukakis as landlady Mrs. Madrigal. Various straight and gay neighbors with their own stories rounded out the characters.

The script for the two-part HBO production of Angels in America (2003) was adapted by Tony Kushner from his play about the AIDS epidemic in Reagan’s America. Angels… won 11 Emmy Awards including acting nods for Al Pacino as closeted conservative attorney Roy Cohn, and Jeffrey Wright as the compassionate nurse Belize.

Brokeback Mountain (2005) started out as a story by Annie Proulx in her 1999 collection Close Range: Wyoming Stories. The tale of two ranch hands who fall in love was adapted into a full-length screenplay by Larry McMurtry and his writing partner Diana Ossana. The Ang Lee-directed film starred Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger as the star-crossed Western lovers.

In May 2014, miniseries The Normal Heart debuted on HBO. Based on Larry Kramer’s 1985 play about activism during the early years of the AIDS crisis, it starred Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts, and will be released on DVD later this month.

LGBTQI Literature: Celebrated Classics and Contemporary Works will be on view on the 1st floor of MD Anderson Library through Sept. 26, 2014.

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