The Front Runner: A Novel
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The Front Runner is a 1974 novel by Patricia Nell Warren. A love story between a running coach and his star athlete, The Front Runner is noted for being the first contemporary gay novel to achieve mainstream commercial and critical success.
Throughout the novel, Harlan's past is revealed in the form of flashbacks. Though attracted only to men all of his life, Harlan marries a girl he impregnated while in college, living a wholly straight life with only occasional furtive, traumatic excursions into the gay underground of pre-Stonewall New York City. After the incident at Penn State, his marriage ends and he is unable to find employment as a coach, and ultimately begins work as a high-priced hustler in Greenwich Village. When Joe Prescott, the founder and president of Prescott College, offers Harlan a position as the college's athletic director, he enthusiastically accepts. Returning to the closet, Harlan devotes himself entirely to coaching.
The Front Runner was a critical and commercial success upon its release, becoming the first book of contemporary gay fiction to reach the New York Times Best Seller List. In their review, The New York Times called the novel \"the most moving, monumental love story ever written about gay life.\" To date, The Front Runner has sold more than 10 million copies and has been translated into at least nine languages, including Japanese, German, French, Danish, Swedish, Dutch, and Italian; it was the best-selling gay novel published in Spain, and the first gay novel ever published in Latvia.
New York: William Morrow and Company, 1974. Hardcover. 346p., near-fine first edition in quarter-cloth boards and bright unclipped dj. Young 4004*. Warren's first novel under her own name. Classic gay love story. Cat.No: 23983 ISBN: 0688002358
Los Angeles: 1975. Screenplay, Second Draft. Hardcover. Screenplay, second draft dated August 1, 1975, based on the novel of the same title by Patricia Nell Warren published by William Morrow in 1974. Written by Larner, winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for The Candidate and commissioned by actor Paul Newman, who was the first of many over the last 40 years who owned the screen rights. A controversial novel in its days - the story is of an All-American coach who falls in love with a young track star in his training - it was the first gay-themed novel to make The New York Times' bestseller list, and since then has become emblematic of the romantic headiness of the 70s gay liberation that gave way to the crushing realities of the AIDS epidemic a decade later. After Newman's option expired, the novel rights changed hands multiple times (they have now reverted to author Warren after a legal dispute was recently settled out of court), and at some point a film version was in pre-production but eluded financing, making the story one of Hollywood's most celebrated unproduced screenplays. Indeed, until Brokeback Mountain, the story always held the promise of being the first major-studio production to bring a gay love story to mainstream cinema. (Newman's interest in the story also fueled much speculation that if Newman were to take the leading role he would be the first really major Hollywood star to play a homosexual character.) This is probably Hollywood's best example of an unproduced screenplay that was ahead of its time; certainly, the best example of that of the gay genre. This copy is the only screen treatment of the novel we are aware of and the only copy of it that we know of that has been brought to the open market. The screenplay is rarer still in that Larner had only two movies produced of his screenwriting: Drive He Said, on which he collaborated with Jack Nicholson (who directed) based on Larner's own 1971 novel; and, in 1972, The Candidate, which was based on his personal experience with the Eugene McCarthy presidential campaign of 1968. Since screenwriting, Larner has turned to speechwriting and poetry, and by some reports is currently finishing a novel based on his Hollywood experience and his memoirs. In United Artists wrapper scuffed and worn about edges, typed title label sticker over spine mostly perished, three brads, internals near fine. Very Good. Item #010353
Her landmark novel, \"The Front Runner,\" decades ago had provided a spark of hope for a youthful generation of gays and lesbians desperate to know they were not alone. To paraphrase songwriter Bernie Taupin, Warren \"had put down in words how wonderful life is, now we're in the world.\"
But there was a bookstore on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood I would encounter on my occasional trips to California, a bookstore that held the promise of answers. If you entered the front and went to the right, you could find copies of mainstream newspapers and magazines. Enter the swinging door to the left and, well, you would enter a world of Colt Studios porn magazines, raunchy little paperback sex novels, and a trove of contemporary gay fiction and nonfiction.
International Front Runners is an affiliation of LGBTQ+ running and walking clubs that have organized in many of the larger cities around the world. Inspired by Patricia Nell Warren's novel The Front Runner, the first Front Runners club began in San Francisco in 1974, and others quickly began forming in the United States, then in Canada and abroad.
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Patricia Nell Warren was born in 1936 and grew up on the Grant Kohrs cattle ranch near Deer Lodge, Montana. She began writing professionally when she was a teenager in the 1950s, and later landed a job at Reader's Digest where she worked as a copy editor, 1959-1964, and book editor, 1964-1980. For a few years in the 1960s, Reader's Digest stationed her in Spain. While there, she wrote her first gay novel, a chronicle of the illicit relationship between a Spanish bullfighter and a peasant during the fascist regime of Spain (she would publish the book in 2001 under the title The Wild Man). In Spain, she also took up jogging. She became proficient enough that she was the fourth woman to finish the 1970 Boston Marathon. In 1971, she published her first book The Last Centennial, a set of three short novels that take place in a Montana town during the 1970s. 1e1e36bf2d