Richard Hall, Writer

Richard Hall was a pioneer of LGBT fiction, who died of AIDS in 1992 at the age of 65. He published several short story collections, novels, and plays. He wrote essays for the New York Times, The Advocate, and The San Francisco Chronicle. He was the first gay person elected to the National Book Critics Circle. According to recent article in The Gay and Lesbian Review: each of his stories is a gem, “polished over time until they glowed with depth and wisdom.”

He was born to a Jewish family from the deep South that changed their name to escape persecution. He was told never to tell anyone his real name. Despite this, he refused to keep his Jewish or his gay identity secret. In fact, he wrote openly about these things in novels “Letter To A Great Uncle” and “Family Fictions.”

He graduated from Harvard, and served in the US Army. A restless spirit, he lived in New York, San Francisco, Puerto Rico. He worked in advertising, public relations and teaching. His happiest times were living on the island of Mallorca with his longtime lover, Dan Allen. Late in life, in hospice, he poured over old pictures and wondered how such happy memories can disappear without a trace.

Novels: The Butterscotch Prince, (1975); Family Fictions (1992),

Story Collections: Couplings (1981), Letter from a Great Uncle (1985) , Fidelities {includes Country People} (1992),

Plays: Three Plays for a Gay Theater (1983), a compilation of his stage plays Happy Birthday Daddy, Love Match and Prisoner of Love.

Writing during the worst years of the AIDS epidemic, he wanted us to know that story can be transformative, that our history is power, and that all plagues end in time.