Best known for writing on opera, his six-volume study of Broadway musicals, and his five-book Buddies cycle following a group of gay characters -- I've a Feeling We're Not In Kansas Anymore, Buddies, Everbody Loves You, Some Men Are Lookers, and How's Your Romance? -- the unstoppable Ethan Mordden also offers all-in-one versions covering much the same ground: last year's Anything Goes: A History of American Musical Theatre [Kindle] and his earlier sweeping novel of the emergence of gay America over four decades, How Long Has This Been Going On? PW raved about his
"...masterfully crafted pages. Beginning in L.A. in 1949 and concluding at New York City's 1991 Gay Pride Parade (with interim stops in San Francisco, rural New Hampshire and small-town Minnesota), this singular work chronicles gay consciousness with trenchant humor, editorial observations tinged with a soupcon of cynicism and scenes of often devastating emotional impact. Mordden pulls no punches as he presents a compelling assortment of quirky characters who connect, disconnect and reconnect in a constantly affecting game of musical lives. Bitter and sweet, it's all here: the barely opened closets of the 1950s, the 1969 Stonewall riots, the growing prominence of San Francisco as a gay capital and, of course, the coming of AIDS. Evocative descriptions make appropriate, occasionally campy, references to pop culture , while comic and poignant passages commingle throughout the detail-packed narrative... an astonishing scope... achingly real... stunning work."
A former regular contributor to The New Yorker, he says his favorite of his novels is The Venice Adriana, whose heroine is an opera diva much like Callas. His most recent gay fiction is The Passionate Attention of an Interesting Man [Kindle]. Among his many, many other books are A Guide to Orchestral Music: The Handbook for Non-Musicians, The Hollywood Studios, Ziegfeld: The Man Who Invented Show Business and Love Song: The Lives of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya.