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Paul Monette papers, 1945-1995
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Preferred Citation
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Processing Note
  • Biography
  • Biographical Note
  • A Chronology of Paul Monette
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

  • Title: Paul Monette papers
    Collection number: 1707
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 32.6 linear ft. (64 document boxes, 7 flat boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1945-1995
    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 significant others, Roger Horwitz and Stephen Kolzak.
    Language of Materials: Materials are in English.
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Creator: Monette, Paul

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to UCLA Library 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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Paul Monette papers (Collection 1707). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 2470254 

    Processing Note

    Processing of the papers is to the folder level, with at times item level description, largely when one manuscript or group of manuscripts comprises one folder.
    This collection was processed in 1997 by Dan Luckenbill.
    A 2012 addition, comprised of 13 journals, was processed and described by Aaron Gorelik in 2013 in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT) with the assistance of Jillian Cuellar. Previously unprocessed materials were also arranged and described by Gorelik in 2014.
    Receiving his PhD from the UCLA Department of English in 2014, Gorelik wrote his dissertation about the effects of the early AIDS epidemic on the course of American poetry. He discovered his dissertation topic by way of Monette’s book Love Alone: Eighteen Elegies for Rog (1988) and focused his dissertation's first chapter, as well as a related article, on Monette. At UCLA, he taught Monette’s poetry, memoirs, and novels in a number of forums.
    Processing of Monette's journals was generously supported by Arcadia. 


    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; met Roger Horwitz in 1974 and the two 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), West of Yesterday, East of Summer (1994), and the posthumous Sanctuary (1997); he died of complications from AIDS on February 10, 1995.

    Biographical Note

    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, 1993, Gay & Lesbian Literature, edited by Sharon Malinowski, Detroit and London: St. James Press, 1994, and 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
    1951 Brother Robert Monette born
    1963 Graduated from Phillips Andover Academy
    September 1963 Entered Yale University as a member of Jonathan Edwards College
    Summer 1966 On scholarship to Cambridge University to work on senior thesis and travel in Europe
    1967 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
    September 1970-1976 Taught at Milton Academy, Milton, Massachusetts and Pine Manor College and lived in Boston
    September 4, 1974 Met Roger Horwitz
    1975 Carpenter at the Asylum published
    November 1977 Moved with Roger to Los Angeles
    1978 First novel published, Taking Care of Mrs. Carroll
    1979 Gold Diggers published
    1981 Long Shot published
    1981 No Witnesses published
    1983 First novelization published, Scarface
    November 29, 1984 Receives City of West Hollywood Certificate of Commendation
    October 22, 1986 Roger Horwitz dies
    1988 Love Alone: 18 Elegies for Rog published
    1988 Borrowed Time published
    1989 Borrowed Time nominated for National Book Critic's Circle Award
    1990 Afterlife published
    February 22, 1990 PM's mother dies
    September 19 1990 Stephen Kolzak dies
    1990(?) Met Winston Wilde
    1991 Halfway Home published
    1992 Becoming a Man published
    1992* Won National Book [Critic's Circle] Award for Becoming a Man* the award was for 1992 but was given in 1993
    June 1994 Last Watch of the Night published
    July 1994 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, relationships with significant others, writings, and public appearances. Correspondences in the collection include fan mail as well as letters from many prominent literary figures and gay and lesbian activist leaders. Daybooks document his life as a gay man in Los Angeles during the post-Stonewall rebellion and the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. Photographs document his receipt of the National Book Award in 1992, Monette's various friendships, and his home life with partners 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 significant others, Roger Horwitz and Stephen Kolzak. The 2012 addition to the papers consists of 13 journals, dating from 1971-1992.

    Expanded Scope and Content

    These papers represent all those saved by Paul Monette and include documents relating to his childhood, education, significant others, writing career, activism, honors, and celebrity.
    The papers contain a fairly complete sampling of manuscripts and publication materials including notes, rough drafts, typed drafts, and editor's and printer's copies of galley proofs. There are copies of his screenplays, television scripts, and plays. Notably, no complete manuscript of Taking Care of Mrs. Carroll or Becoming a Man appear in the papers (the latter was written and submitted on diskette); nor do the papers include a complete set of the literary journals that printed his poems. Monette provided copies of most of his books, including novelizations, and those are cataloged separately. (A copy of No Witnesses was not provided.)
    Also found in the papers are clippings and copies of reviews and recordings of general speeches and appearances made for the publicity of particular published works. A substantial holding of fan mail has been filed in relationship to the published works in reference. There are manuscripts and notes pertaining to others' works, including some for which Monette wrote blurbs or prefaces, including A Rock and a Hard Place, by Anthony Godby Johnson. Records of Monette's poems set to music, primarily from Love Alone, can be found: composers include Ned Rorem, Roger Bourland, Jeffrey Brody, and Gary Bachlund.
    Memorabilia, photographs, and daybooks cover his entire life. There are few snapshots of his childhood and adolescence. Some are interfiled in a baby book, but most primarily date to after his graduation from college. His home life with his partners Roger Horwitz, Stephen Kolzak, and Winston Wilde, and some friendships, particularly with Craig Rowland, Rudy Kikel, and Cesar Albini, are chronicled. There are few photographs from publicity tours, etcetera, 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, noteworthy photographer of gay and lesbian authors. Significantly, the papers hold all thirteen diaries Monette diligently kept from 1971 to 1992.
    Correspondents represented in the papers include many prominent literary figures as well as gay and lesbian activist leaders, such as 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, David Groff, and Alison Bechdel. There are correspondences with fans, some of whom became friends--for example, Sascha Bittner. Condolences on the deaths of Roger Horwitz and Stephen Kolzak are extant. However, few outgoing correspondences exist in the papers, except for some photocopies of letters Monette evidently wished to save as well as letters he wrote to his parents during his first European tour that they, presumably, kept.
    Also in Monette's papers are those of his two significant others who preceded him in death, Roger Horwitz and Stephen Kolzak. Those for Horwitz include records of his education, travel, and residence in France and friendship with Madeleine Follain, daughter of painter Maurice Denis. Horwitz's papers include poetry, diaries, correspondences, and documents pertaining to his post-Stonewall friendships with Craig Rowland and Rudy Kikel. Kolzak's records primarily consist of clippings and photographs; some relate to his work as casting director for the television series Cheers.

    Organization and Arrangement

    The Paul Monette papers are arranged in the following series and subseries:
    • Series 1: Journals
    • Series 2: Biographical
      • Subseries 2.1: Family and Friends
      • Subseries 2.2: Education and Teaching
      • Subseries 2.3: Relationships
      • Subseries 2.4: Press, Appearances, and Honors
      • Subseries 2.5: Projects, Involvements, etc.
      • Subseries 2.6: Personal Materials
      • Subseries 2.7: Memorial Items
    • Series 3: Biographical, Photographs
    • Series 4: Writings
      • Subseries 4.1: Poetry
      • Subseries 4.2: Fiction
      • Subseries 4.3: Screenplays/Television Scripts/Plays
      • Subseries 4.4: Nonfiction/Memoirs
      • Subseries 4.5: Fan Mail and Miscellaneous
    • Series 5: Roger Horwitz Papers
    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.
    Materials are arranged largely chronologically. Accurate dates, however, were frequently difficult to determine. In the case of Monette's writings, the first publication or genesis of a work constituted the filing date for its related materials.

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    COLLECTION CONTAINS DIGITAL MATERIALS: Special equipment or further processing may be required for viewing. To access digital materials found in series 4.5, please notify the reference desk in advance of your visit.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Horwitz, Roger.
    Kolzak, Stephen.
    Monette, Paul, 1945-1995 -- Archives
    AIDS (disease) in literature--Archival resources.
    Authors, American--20th century--Archival resources.
    Gay men's writings, American--Archival resources.
    Manuscripts for publications.
    Online resources.