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Publisher's Summary

The groundbreaking work on being homosexual in America - available again only from Penguin Classics and with a new foreword by Dan Savage.

Originally published in 1971, Merle Miller’s On Being Different is a pioneering and thought-provoking book about being homosexual in the United States. Just two years after the Stonewall riots, Miller wrote a poignant essay for the New York Times Magazine entitled “What It Means to Be a Homosexual” in response to a homophobic article published in Harper’s Magazine. Described as “the most widely read and discussed essay of the decade”, it carried the seed that would blossom into On Being Different - one of the earliest memoirs to affirm the importance of coming out.

For more than 65 years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Audiences trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

©1971 Merle Miller (P)2021 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

“Forty years after Miller’s article and book his eloquent voice is still poignant, still relevant to the ongoing struggle, our struggle for dignity and equal rights.” (Jonathan Ned Katz, founder, codirector, OutHistory.org)

“Forty years later, the story Miller tells remains important and necessary to read, not only for both gay and straight readers to understand ‘the way it used to be,’ but because the issues Miller raised are still being discussed and argued about.” (Nancy Pearl) 

“Merle Miller’s On Being Different is a searing indictment of social hypocrisy, written with a quite but burning passion.... This book is not only a valuable historical document about the gay civil rights movement, but it is an American classic because of the beauty it achieves through its unflinchingly honest portrayal of the raw pain of rejection.” (David Carter, author Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution

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