Role models of greatness.

Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Patrick Gale

British novelist Patrick Gale was born in 1962 on the Isle of Wight, where his father was the prison governor.  Gale grew up in and around prisons, and in his novel Rough Music (2000) the main character is the son of a prison governor.

Gale boarded at the choir school for Winchester Cathedral, and he completed his formal education with a degree in English from New College, Oxford, in 1983. Following university he sang for the London Philharmonic Choir and took a variety of odd jobs as a typist, a designer’s secretary, a ghost-writer for an encyclopedia of the musical and as a book reviewer for The Daily Telegraph. Gale penned his first novel, The Aerodynamics of Pork (1986), while working as a singing waiter in an all-night restaurant.

Critic Richard Canning from The Independent writes:

Patrick Gale is among the great, unsung English novelists. He has written a dozen books, each confirming a remarkable insight into his chosen subject, the vagaries of the human heart. His works attract large readerships – mostly women or gay men – drawn by the witty, pathos-filled analyses of how we conduct relationships, both within the family and outside. His novels form a quiet gathering, not a series of brash entrances. They impress confidently but gently, like those of the closest of his peers, Barbara Trapido, Helen Dunmore and Colm Tóibin…. If Rough Music sounds dark, it is rather – but marvelously so. Gripping, elegant and wise, it is Gale’s best book to date, and should not be missed. 

In 2007, his bestseller Notes from an Exhibition garnered similar praise: "unutterably moving" (Daily Express), "quietly radiant intelligence, craft and integrity...powerful and surprising" (Sunday Times), "uplifting, immensely empathetic" (Guardian), "dense, thought-provoking, sensitive, satisfying, humorous, humane – a real treat" (Telegraph). A character from that book reappears in his most recent novel A Perfectly Good Man (2012). In 2000 he published a biography of his friend, American writer Armistead Maupin; Gale said Maupin "taught me that fiction need not thump tubs to change opinions, and that a gently comic tone can work wonders."

He now lives on a farm owned by his husband, Aidan Hicks, near Land’s End, Cornwall, where Gale is an avid gardener, chef, cellist and whippet walker. As partners they raise beef cattle, barley and vegetables, and Gale’s current ambition is to perfect the art of reversing a tractor and trailer around a corner.

Click on this link to visit Gale's web site:

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