Adam Mars-Jones (Cambridge) and Alan Hollinghurst (Oxford) were born five months apart in 1954 and each published his first book, boldly gay, in the 80s, both winning a Somerset Maugham Award. Second fictions appeared from each in the early 90s, and Hollinghurst, with his steady output of a novel every six years, became a star, a constant prize winner, and a literary novelist who can debut a book at #1. Mars-Jones disappeared for fifteen years and re-emerged in the era of Twitter snippets with a monumental work rivaling Proust. In 2008, Pilcrow took 544 pages to see its gay, disabled, vegetarian protagonist John Cromer to age 16. Last year, Cedilla added 752 pages, with even stronger reviews, bringing John through Cambridge and his 20s. The Telegraph said, "There isn’t a passage here that doesn’t sparkle." Two more volumes are forthcoming, with an expected total of 2,500 to 3,000 pages devoted to an ordinary gay life. Mars-Jones is a vivid, brainy critic who sometimes dips his pen in acid. Two months ago, after Gore Vidal's death, he remembered he wore a singlet and black leather biker pants to interview the icon in his room at the Dorchester.
A towering outsider with massive insider pull, 6'5" Dan Mathews led the "I'd Rather Go Naked" anti-fur campaign and convinced Morrissey, Pink, Pam, and Paul McCartney to do spots for the love-them-or-hate-them animal rights group PETA. He started poor, was bullied in high school, worked at McDonalds and as a model to put himself through American University, and after graduating started at PETA as a receptionist. His memoir Committed: A Rabble-Rouser's Memoir [[Kindle]] finally pubbed in the UK in 2009, when gay rights living legend Peter Tatchell chose it on Band of Thebes best lgbt book poll saying, "It’s a story full of ideas, action and loads of gossip about the many celebrities who support PETA’s work. Off-beat, hilarious, irreverent, and highly ethical, Committed is a damn good read. It shows how direct action can raise consciousness and secure social change – and be lots of fun."