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Patricia Nell Warren

Patricia Nell Warren (June 15, 1936 – February 9, 2019) was an American novelist, poet and journalist. Her first novel, The Front Runner, was the first work of contemporary gay fiction to make the the New York Times Best Seller list.[1]

Patricia Nell Warren
Born(1936-06-15)June 15, 1936
DiedFebruary 9, 2019(2019-02-09) (aged 82)
Other namesPatricia Kilina
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma mater
OccupationNovelist, poet, journalist
Years active1954-2019
EmployerReader's Digest
Notable work
The Front Runner
Home townDeer Lodge, Montana

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Patricia Nell Warren was born in Helena, Montana on June 15, 1936[2] and grew up in southwest Montana on the Grant-Kohrs Ranch near Deer Lodge.[2] Her parents, Con and Nell Warren, were cattle ranchers; Warren had one brother, Conrad.[2] She began writing at age 10 and got her first literary recognition at age 18, winning the Atlantic Monthly College Fiction Contest with a short story.[3]

Warren earned an associate of arts degree from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri in 1955, then a bachelor of arts in English in 1957 from Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York.[2]

In 1957, she married Ukrainian emigre poet Yuriy Tarnawsky. Through her marriage, she learned the Ukrainian language and became associated with a group of other young Ukrainian emigre poets who became internationally known as the New York Group. As a part of their publishing collective, she began writing and publishing poetry in Ukrainian.[4]

CareerEdit

In 1959, Warren went to work for Reader's Digest and worked there for 21 years; she became an editor for both the magazine and the Condensed Book Club.[2] Her first novel The Last Centennial was published by Dial Press in 1971,[2] under the pen name Patricia Kilina, which she also used for her Ukrainian poetry. The book was described by Library Journal as "an impressive first novel... almost Faulknerian in its depiction of the despoiling inheritors."[5] In 1973, she divorced Tarnawsky and left the New York Group shortly thereafter.[citation needed]

BooksEdit

In 1974 Warren published her second novel, The Front Runner.[6] Told from the point of view of a gay track coach, the story chronicled his struggle to get a talented openly gay runner on the U.S. Olympic team, and to quash his own growing love for his protegé.[1] The controversial book[7] was the first contemporary gay fiction to make The New York Times Best Seller list.[1] The book sold 10 million copies and was translated in to 10 different languages.[2] Two decades later, Warren added two sequels, Harlan's Race (1994) and Billy's Boy (1996).[2] Warren also came out as a lesbian in 1974.[8]

As a runner herself, Warren was one of the first women to run in the Boston Marathon, in 1968. She participated in a group of female runners who got women's marathoning recognized in the U.S.[9]

In 1976, Warren published her third novel, The Fancy Dancer.[2] The story was set in her native Montana, tracking the struggle with sexual orientation issues of a young Catholic parish priest in a small cow-country town.[citation needed]

In 1978, came Warren's fourth novel, The Beauty Queen.[2] Also published by Morrow, this book was set in the New York City world where she'd spent many years. The story focused on a socially prominent Manhattan businessman, a closeted gay father trying to get up the courage to come out to his daughter, who had become a fiercely anti-gay born-again Christian politician.[citation needed]

Later careerEdit

In 1980, Warren left employment at the Digest to become a full-time writer. She moved back out West to pursue research on her next novel, a Western historical opus. It appeared from Ballantine in 1991 under the title One Is the Sun.[2] Eventually settling in southern California, she made the decision to go independent with book publishing. The result was Wildcat Press, which has published all her books since, including her 2001 novel, The Wild Man, inspired by her years in Spain; she had traveled there regularly during Francisco Franco's regime when she was liaison to the Digest's Spanish edition.[2]

During the 1990s, Warren became more active politically. In 1996-99, as a result of her concerns for LGBT youth, she volunteered as a commissioner of education in the Los Angeles Unified School District, serving on the Gay & Lesbian Education Commission and later the Human Relations Education Commission.[citation needed] In 2006, Warren hired veteran political consultant Neal Zaslavsky and announced her candidacy for City Council in West Hollywood, CA.[10] Warren was unsuccessful in her run.[2]

Warren died on February 9, 2019 at the age of 82.[11]

BibliographyEdit

  • A Tragedy of Bees (1960)
  • Legends and Dreams (1964)
  • Pink Cities (1969)
  • The Last Centennial (1971) LOC#77-163583
  • The Front Runner (1974) ISBN 0-9641099-6-4
  • The Fancy Dancer (1976) ISBN 0-9641099-7-2
  • The Beauty Queen (1978) ISBN 0-9641099-8-0
  • One is the Sun (1991) ISBN 1-889135-02-X
  • Harlan's Race (1994) ISBN 0-9641099-5-6
  • Billy's Boy (1997) ISBN 0-9641099-4-8
  • The Wild Man (2001) ISBN 1-889135-05-4
  • My West: Personal Writings on the American West (2011) ISBN 978-1-889135-08-3

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Ziegler, Cyd. "Moment #4: Publication of 'The Front Runner'". Outsports. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Nelson, Emmanuel S. (July 14, 2009). Encyclopedia of Contemporary LGBTQ Literature of the United States [2 volumes]. ABC-CLIO. pp. 634–636. ISBN 9780313348600.
  3. ^ Chin, Alan (2010-03-22). "Interviewing Patricia Nell Warren: The Pioneer". Lambda Literary. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  4. ^ "From Beginning to New Beginning: A Cycle of Poetry". Lodestar Quarterly. Summer 2003. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  5. ^ "Pat Kilina Has First Novel On the Market" (PDF). Svoboda. November 26, 1971. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  6. ^ "Legendary Author Patricia Nell Warren: Ever The Front Runner". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  7. ^ "Author Examines Gay Athletes". NPR.org. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  8. ^ Kergan Edwards-Stout (2013). "Legendary Author Patricia Nell Warren: Ever the Front Runner". Huffington Post.
  9. ^ Zeigler, Cyd Jr. (June 7, 2002). "Still A Front Runner". Outsports. Archived from the original on September 7, 2011. Retrieved February 11, 2019.CS1 maint: Date and year (link)
  10. ^ "Notice of Nominees for Public Office". City of West Hollywood. December 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 27, 2007. Retrieved July 10, 2007.
  11. ^ Browning, Bil (February 10, 2019). "Author & all around wonderful woman Patricia Nell Warren finishes her race". LGBTQ Nation. Retrieved February 11, 2019.