It’s Pride Month! We’ve been doing some reading, and, in these last few celebratory days, we’d like to share something wonderful from our archive.
First published in 1963 — before Stonewall, in the early days of a renewed struggle for gay rights it helped galvanize — John Rechy’s City of Night is a landmark of American fiction, offering an unabashed, stylistically innovative look at the world of hustlers, drag queens, and those in their orbit that still sings and stings today, nearly sixty years after its publication. Originally a controversial bestseller, it has now claimed a rightful place as indispensable literature; its author, who has been honored with prizes including the PEN Center USA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the LA Times’ Robert Kirsch Award for Lifetime Achievement, and Publishing Triangle’s Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement, is today revered as one of the most seismic and applauded authors in American fiction.
As we prepared to release the 50th Anniversary Edition of City of Night in 2013, we stumbled upon an astonishing find: original galley pages from the novel’s initial publication, marked up with edits by Rechy himself. With Pride Month winding down, we’re delighted to share them with you here.
(These pages are also included in the 50th Anniversary Edition of City of Night, available wherever enduringly groundbreaking literature is sold. You can read an excerpt, peruse discussion questions, and find links to buy it right here.)