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Larry Kramer Biography

(1935– ), Women in Love, Faggots, The Normal Heart

American playwright and novelist, born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, educated at Yale University. He worked as an executive in the film industry, first in London and later in New York. In 1970 he wrote and produced the screenplay for Ken Russell's acclaimed adaptation of D. H. Lawrence's Women in Love. His controversial novel Faggots (1978) was praised by some for its forthright account of the New York–Fire Island gay circuit in the free-wheeling 1970s, but others criticized the novel for its seemingly moralistic tone towards the gay sub-culture in which Kramer had himself participated. With the advent of AIDS, Kramer's confrontations against the political and medical establishment won the approval of many in the gay world. In 1981 he founded the Gay Men's Health Crisis in New York, and in 1988 he helped to form ACT-UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power). Kramer later broke with both organizations and himself contracted AIDS. The Normal Heart (1985) is the first drama to deal directly with the AIDS crisis, which is also the subject of essays in Reports from the Holocaust: The Making of an AIDS Activist (1989). The Destiny of Me (1991) is an autobiographical play dealing with Kramer's family and coming out.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Knole Kent to Mary Lavin Biography