After 30 years of effort and over 35 years after his first novel, Faggots, Larry Kramer’s The American People will finally be published in two volumes, with the first being published in April 2015.
As the title suggests, the book will focus around the history of the American people, particularly focusing on the role that LGBT+ people have played in American history – including the assertion that President Abraham Lincoln was a closeted homosexual.
There have been one or two public readings where Kramer has included excerpts from the manuscript – such as a reading in 2011 which was released on YouTube. Other than these excerpts and the recent publicity material, very little is known about the book, which has been in progress since 1981.
Kramer has been enjoying a boon in popularity in the past few years – the film of his play The Normal Heart has been successful and Kramer’s views are now reaching a mainstream audience in a way they haven’t since the play opened in the 1980s. He recently appeared in the documentary How to Survive a Plague, a history of the HIV/AIDS activist group ACT-UP, which Kramer became involved with in the late 1980s.
Kramer has always been a centre of controversy in the LGBT+ community. Some see him as an important figure; others see him as an agitator. The upcoming publication of The American People will doubtless lead to more divisions in critical opinion of his life and works.
Volume 1 of The American People: Search for My Heart will be published in the United Kingdom and the United States on 7 April, 2015