Scope and Content
Organization and Arrangement
Title: Paul Monette papers,
Date (inclusive): 1945-1995
Collection number: 1707
Extent: 52 boxes (26 linear ft.)
5 oversize boxes
University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Abstract: Paul Landry Monette (1945-1995) was a novelist and poet. He received a best biography nomination from the National Book Critics'
Circle and won the National Book Award for nonfiction in 1992. The collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, proofs,
notes, screenplays, plays, daybooks, memorabilia, photographs, clippings, and printed material related to Monette's life and
literary career. Also included in the collection are the papers of two of Monette's previous lovers, Roger Horwitz and Stephen
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department
of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including
copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds
the copyright and pursue the
copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
Processing of the papers is to the folder level, with at times item level description and control, largely when one manuscript
or group of manuscripts comprises one folder. There is a chronology of important events in his life and of his majors works
and awards included with the finding aid.
Further descriptive and appreciative information can be found in the records themselves and in publications such as those
referred to for biographical information.
Restrictions on Access
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department
of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Provenance/Source of Acquisition
- Gift of Paul Monette, 1993-94.
- Gift of Winston Wilde, 1996.
[Identification of item], Paul Monette papers (Collection 1707). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research
Library, University of California, Los Angeles.
Paul Landry Monette was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, on October 16, 1945; BA, English, Yale, 1967; taught at Cheshire
Academy, Connecticut, 1968-70; taught at Milton Academy, Massachusetts, and Pine Manor College, 1970-76; published first book
The Looker-on: Fra Angelico, Crucifixion, About 1450 (1973); met Roger Horwitz in 1974 and the two of them moved to Los Angeles, California, 1977; writings include
Carpenter at the Asylum (1975),
Taking Care of Mrs. Carroll (1978),
The Gold Diggers (1979),
Long Shot (1981), and
No Witnesses (1981); after Horwitz's death in 1986, Monette wrote
Love Alone: 18 Elegies for Rog (1988),
Borrowed Time: an AIDS Memoir (1988),
Afterlife (1990), and
Halfway Home (1991); Monette's work,
Borrowed Time: an AIDS Memoir, was nominated as best biography for the National Book Critics' Circle Award; Monette wrote of his struggle for identity
as a gay man in his book,
Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story (1992), which won the National Book Award for nonfiction in 1992; final publications include
Last Watch of the Night (1994) and
West of Yesterday, East of Summer (1994); he was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1990 and died of complications from AIDS on February 10, 1995.
Several printed obituaries and appreciations have been collected in Special Collections URL and can be found in the papers.
Major critical overviews include those in
Contemporary Authors: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Current Writers in
Fiction, General Nonfiction, Poetry, Journalism, Drama, Motion Pictures, Television, and Other Fields
vol. 139, edited by Donna Olendorf. Detroit, Washington, D.C., London: Gale
Research Incorporated, ,
Gay & Lesbian Literature, edited by Sharon Malinowski. Detroit and London: St. James Press, , and Paul Monette, by David
Contemporary Gay American Novelists: A
Bio-bibliographical Critical Sourcebook
, edited by Emmanuel S. Nelson, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwod Press, 1994.
A Chronology of Paul Monette
By Paula Zeszotarski
|October 16, 1945
||Paul Landry Monette born in Lawrence, Massachusetts
||Brother Robert Monette born
||Graduated from Phillips Andover Academy
||Entered Yale University as a member of Jonathan Edwards College
||On scholarship to Cambridge University to work on senior thesis and travel in Europe
||Graduated from Yale University with Bachelor of Arts in English
|September 1967-June 1968
||Spent year on Carnegie Teaching Fellowship at Yale
|November 1968-June 1970
||Taught at Cheshire Academy, Cheshire, Connecticut
||Taught at Milton Academy, Milton, Massachusetts and Pine Manor College and lived in Boston
||First book of poetry published,
The Looker-On: Fra Angelico, Crucifixion, about 1450
|September 4, 1974
||Met Roger Horwitz
Carpenter at the Asylum published
||Moved with Roger to Los Angeles
||First novel published,
Taking Care of Mrs. Carroll
Gold Diggers published
Long Shot published
No Witnesses published
||First novelization published,
|November 29, 1984
||Receives City of West Hollywood Certificate of Commendation
| October 22, 1986
|| Roger Horwitz dies
Love Alone: 18 Elegies for Rog published
Borrowed Time published
Borrowed Time nominated for National Book Critic's Circle Award
|February 22, 1990
|| PM's mother dies
|September 19 1990
||Stephen Kolzak dies
||Met Winston Wilde
Halfway Home published
Becoming a Man published
||Won National Book [Critic's Circle] Award for
Becoming a Man* the award was for 1992 but was given in 1993
Last Watch of the Night published
West of Yesterday, East of Summer published
|February 10 1995
||PM dies of complications from AIDS
Scope and Content
Collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, proofs, notes, screenplays, plays, daybooks, memorabilia, photographs,
clippings, and printed material related to the life and literary career of Paul Monette. Materials in the collection reflect
Monette's childhood, education, lovers, writings, and public appearances. Correspondence in the collection includes fan mail
and letters from many prominent literary and gay and lesbian activist leaders. Daybooks document his life as a gay man in
Los Angeles during the post-Stonewall rebellion and AIDS years. Photographs document his receipt of the National Book Award
in 1992, Monette's various friends, and his home life with lovers Roger Horwitz, Stephen Kolzak, and Winston Wilde. Portrait
photographs include prints by Robert Giard, photographer of gay and lesbian authors. Also included in the collection are the
papers of two of Monette's previous lovers, Roger Horwitz and Stephen Kolzak.
Expanded Scope and Content
These papers represent all of those saved by Paul Monette, his memorabilia, records of his childhood and education, his life
with the lovers who preceded him in death and some materials relating to his lover Winston Wilde, and of his publications
and many public appearances. There is no complete manuscript of
Taking Care of Mrs.
Becoming a Man was written and submitted on diskette. There is not a complete set of publications in journals of the poems. For a bibliography,
research would need to be done outside these papers, although there are some notes (and some from Paul Monette) as to publication
in journals. [At this writing, some photographs and the Paul Monette journals remain with the heir and executors.]
Otherwise, there is a complete sampling of all possible manuscript, publication, and post-publication material that would
be usual from a writer of his stature.
This includes notes, rough drafts, typed drafts, and editor's and printer's copies of manuscripts. There are copies of his
screenplays (unproduced), plays, and photoplays. There are few proofs in the collection. There are clippings and copies of
mentions, and recordings of general speeches and appearances and appearances made for the publicity of particular published
works. Fan mail (mail to Paul Monette from persons whom he did not previously know) is filed in a separate series, but by
publication when possible. Because of his touching so many lives with his books on AIDS, or growing up gay
and the process of coming out, there is perhaps the largest amount of this kind of mail ever known to this department's manuscript
holdings. Paul Monette has given copies of most of his books, including novelizations, and those are cataloged separately.
[At this writing, there is no copy of
Memorabilia and photographs cover his entire life. Daybooks record the daily life of a gay male in Los Angeles in the post
Stonewall and AIDS years. There are few snapshots of his childhood and adolescence. Some are interfiled in a baby book, but
begin primarily after graduation from college. There seem to be no photographs from his first trip to
Europe. Otherwise, his home life with his lovers Roger Horwitz and Stephen Kolzak (and with Winston Wilde) and some friendships,
particularly that with Craig Rowland, Rudy Kikel, and Cesar Albini, are chronicled. But there are few photographs from publicity
tours, etc. that do not appear in publications. There are some photographs from his presentation at the Library of Congress
after receiving the National Book Award in 1992.
Portraits include prints by photographer Robert Giard, photographer of gay and lesbian authors.
There is almost no record of outgoing correspondence, either personal or pertaining to his publications and appearances. There
are photocopies of a few selected letters Monette evidently wished to record and save. Letters to his parents from his first
European trip were kept presumably by them and are present in the papers.
Correspondents include many prominent literary and gay and lesbian activist leaders for the period of his life. These include:
Louis Untermeyer, Richard Howard, Rudy Kikel, Joey Terrill, Elisabeth Nonas, Teresa DeCrecenzo, John Preston, Richard Labonté,
Mark Thompson, Malcolm Boyd, Mark Thompson, Katherine V. Forrest, Betty Berzon, Torie Osborn, Michael Denneny, Doug Sadownick,
Larry Duplechan, Gay Block, Malka Drucker, Guru Ma Jaya, Vito Russell, Alfred Corn, Philip Gambone, Eloise Klein Healy, and
Alison Bechdel. There is correspondence with fans, some of whom became friends, for example, Sascha Bittner. There are manuscripts
and notes pertaining to others' works, including some for which
Monette wrote blurbs or prefaces, including
A Rock and a Hard
, by Anthony R. (Tony) Johnson. They are most often notes of friendship, of congratulation for a work just published, and
notes of condolence on the deaths of Roger Horwitz and Stephen Kolzak. There is also a record of some of the music which sets
his poems, primarily from
Love Alone. These composers include: Ned Rorem, Roger Bourland, Jeffrey Brody, and Gary Bachlund.
Also in his papers are selected papers of the two lovers who preceded him in death, Roger Horwitz and Stephen Kolzak. Those
for Horwitz include records of his education and travel and residence in France and friendship with Madeleine Follain, daughter
of painter Maurice Denis; his poetry; and diaries and records of early post Stonewall life with friends Craig Rowland and
Rudy Kikel. Records of Kolzak are primarily clippings and
photographs, some relating to his work as casting director of the television series
Organization and Arrangement
Arranged in the following series:
- Biographical material.
- Roger Horwitz papers.
Expanded Organization and Arrangement
There was no filing order to the records as received. Paul Monette reviewed his papers and made some identifying notes and
dates before giving them to the UCLA Library; he also reviewed a first draft finding aid to supply further dates (primarily
of early poem manuscripts and publications), but he died before the processing was completed. The
records are arranged in 2 main groups: Biographical and Writings. Within each group, materials are arranged largely chronologically,
with the first publication or genesis of a work being the filing date for that material; and largely the first meeting of
a friend to be the filing date for that group of materials. Appearances, etc. (chronicled by tapes, videotapes, and other
materials) are described chronologically within these two
groups. Photographs are filed and described separately. Fan mail is filed separately. The records of Roger Horwitz comprise
another separate group in the papers. A limited amount of names are given within various groups of correspondence. Some additions
were interfiled, others remain at the end of the description, in similar descriptive
The subgroups thus follow the creative order of his working life, and give an outline of his personal life: his childhood,
his education, and his relationships with lovers and friends, his health, and some records of his importance as an activist
in the gay and lesbian community. Memorial items collected or sent to Winston Wilde are included in the papers. These include
letters of commiseration from numerous prominent persons.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Authors, American--20th century--Archival resources.
Gay men's writings, American--Archival resources.
AIDS (disease) in literature--Archival resources.
Genres and Forms of Material
Manuscripts for publication.