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List of LGBT characters in modern written fiction

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This is a List of LGBT characters in modern written fiction. The historical concept and definition of sexual orientation varies and has changed greatly over time; for example the word "gay" wasn't used to describe sexual orientation until the mid 20th century. A number of different classification schemes have been used to describe sexual orientation since the mid-19th century, and scholars have often defined the term 'sexual orientation' in divergent ways. Indeed, several studies have found that much of the research about sexual orientation has failed to define the term at all, making it difficult to reconcile the results of different studies.[1][2][3] However, most definitions include a psychological component (such as the direction of an individual's erotic desire) and/or a behavioural component (which focuses on the sex of the individual's sexual partner/s). Some prefer to simply follow an individual's self-definition or identity. See homosexuality and bisexuality for criteria that have traditionally denoted lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people.

Items listed here must have verifiable third-party sources commenting on the sexuality of the character(s) in question, and additional explanation may be necessary. Citing the work itself may be appropriate if an applicable quote is provided. Additionally, only notable/significant characters from a given work (which may have multiple LGBT characters) need to be listed here.

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AEdit

Character name Book Author Details Reference
Carol Aird The Price of Salt Patricia Highsmith Bisexual; has a sexual/romantic relationship with another woman while married to a man. [4]
Alec Nightrunner series Lynn Flewelling Bisexual [5]
Alexander the Great Fire from Heaven
The Persian Boy
Mary Renault Bisexual [6]
Armand The Vampire Chronicles Anne Rice Bisexual; In the novel The Vampire Armand, he is shown to have sexual relations with a number of people of both sexes, including Marius de Romanus and Bianca Solderini. [7]
Vanyel Ashkevron The Last Herald Mage trilogy Mercedes Lackey Gay; In the series, Vanyel has two sexual relationships, both with male partners. [8]
Nancy "Nan" Astley Tipping the Velvet Sarah Waters Lesbian; main character who has sexual/romantic relationships with three other women as well as other casual sexual encounters. [9]

BEdit

Character name Book Author Details Reference
Bagoas The Persian Boy Mary Renault Gay [6]
Florence Banner Tipping the Velvet Sarah Waters Lesbian; has a sexual/romantic relationship with the main character. [10]
Therese Belivet The Price of Salt Patricia Highsmith Lesbian; has a sexual/romantic relationship with another woman. [4]
Mr. Benson Mr. Benson John Preston Gay [6]
Frank Berry The Hotel New Hampshire John Irving Identifies as gay. [11]
Molly Bolt Rubyfruit Jungle Rita Mae Brown Lesbian; main character who has numerous romantic and sexual relationships with other women. [12]
Dave Brandstetter Dave Brandstetter Mysteries Joseph Hansen [13]
Beebo Brinker The Beebo Brinker Chronicles Ann Bannon Lesbian [14]
Coach Harlan Brown The Front Runner Patricia Nell Warren Gay [6]
Richard Brown The Hours Michael Cunningham Gay [15]
Kitty Butler Tipping the Velvet Sarah Waters Bisexual; has a sexual/romantic relationship with the main character as well as marrying a man. [10]

CEdit

Character name Book Author Details Reference
Beth Ayers/Cullison The Beebo Brinker Chronicles Ann Bannon [14]
Jason Carrillo Rainbow Boys Alex Sanchez gay [16]

DEdit

Character name Book Author Details Reference
Anne Damer Life Mask Emma Donoghue Lesbian; has a sexual/romantic relationship with another woman. [17]
Ambassador Dannyl The Black Magician Trilogy Trudi Canavan Gay; referred to in novel as a 'lad'. [18]
Peggy Danziger Happy Endings Are All Alike Sandra Scoppettone Bisexual; has a sexual and romantic relationship with another woman. [4]
Infinite Darlene/Daryl Boy Meets Boy David Levithan Transgender. Formerly known as Daryl, now a drag queen called "Infinite Darlene". [19]
David Giovanni's Room James Baldwin Bisexual [6]
Selina Dawes Affinity Sarah Waters Lesbian; has a sexual/romantic relationship with another woman. [20]
Ennis del Mar Brokeback Mountain Annie Proulx Main character who has a long term sexual relationship with another man as well as being married to a woman. Critics have described him variously as gay, bisexual, or occasionally as a heterosexual. [21][22]
Paul Denton The Rules of Attraction Bret Easton Ellis Bisexual, falls in love with main character (a man) [23]
Sarah Dowling Patience and Sarah Isabel Miller [24]
Albus Dumbledore Harry Potter series JK Rowling Gay [25][26][27][28]
Clive Durham Maurice E. M. Forster Gay [29]

FEdit

Character name Book Author Details Reference
Alluvia Fairfax (Alice) Gut Symmetries Jeanette Winterson Bisexual; main character who falls in love with a man and a woman and has a sexual relationship with them both. [30]
Lucy Farinelli Kay Scarpetta novels Patricia Cornwell Lesbian; niece of the main character. Has several romantic relationships with other women as well as many casual sexual encounters with other women. [31]
Simon Foster A Fairly Honourable Defeat Iris Murdoch Gay [32]

GEdit

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Character name Book Author Details Reference
Giovanni Giovanni's Room James Baldwin Gay [6]
Nelson Glassman Rainbow Boys Alex Sanchez Gay [16]
Dorian Gray The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde Bisexual [6]

HEdit

Character name Book Author Details Reference
Darvish Shayrif Hakem "The Fire's Stone" Tanya Huff Bisexual, stated throughout the book. Falls in love with Aarin, another lead character from the book. [33]
Maurice Hall Maurice E. M. Forster Gay [34]
Basil Hallward The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde Gay [35]
Baron Vladimir Harkonnen Dune Frank Herbert Gay;[36] Harkonnen's sexual preference for men is implied in Dune and Children of Dune, and presented more explicitly in the Prelude to Dune prequel trilogy by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. [37][38]
Basil Henderson Invisible Life
Just As I Am
Abide With Me
E. Lynn Harris Bisexual [6][39]

JEdit

Character name Book Author Details Reference
Ruth Jamison Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe Fannie Flagg Lesbian; main character who has long-term romantic relationship with another woman. [40]
Jeanette Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Jeanette Winterson Lesbian [41]

KEdit

Character name Book Author Details Reference
Annie Kenyon Annie on My Mind Nancy Garden Lesbian [42]
Joel Harrison Knox Other Voices, Other Rooms Truman Capote Gay [43]

LEdit

Character name Book Author Details Reference
Laura Landon The Beebo Brinker Chronicles Ann Bannon [14]
Renee LaRoche Along the Journey River Carole LaFavor Lesbian protagonist. [44]
Diana Leathaby Tipping the Velvet Sarah Waters Lesbian; has a sexual relationship with the main character and other women. [10]
Nicolas de Lenfent The Vampire Chronicles Anne Rice Probably gay. Whilst human, Nicolas shares a sexual relationship with Lestat de Lioncourt. [7]
Maud Lilly Fingersmith Sarah Waters Lesbian; main character who has a sexual/romantic relationship with another woman. [45]
Lestat de Lioncourt The Vampire Chronicles Anne Rice Though Lestat's sexual orientation is never implicitly specified, he is attracted to and has intense relationships with members of both sexes (though mostly men). Most notably, he shares a bed with Nicolas de Lenfent (while still human) and later falls "fatally in love" with Louis de Pointe du Lac. [7]

MEdit

Character name Book Author Details Reference
Malone Dancer from the Dance Andrew Holleran Gay [46]
Dirk McDonald Baby Be-Bop, Weetzie Bat Francesca Lia Block Gay [47]
Alice Meadows A Village Affair Joanna Trollope Married woman who has a sexual and romantic relationship with another woman. [4]
Kyle Meeks Rainbow Boys Alex Sanchez Gay [16]
Christopher Metcalfe Now and Then William Corlett Gay; main character who has a sexual & romantic relationship as a boy with another boy at school. Later has sexual relationships with other men and eventually pursues a romantic relationship with another man. [48]
Russel Middlebrook Geography Club Brent Hartinger Gay [4]
Paul Michel Hallucinating Foucault Patricia Duncker Gay; openly homosexual writer, said to have many male lovers, including relationship with male main character/narrator. [49][50]

NEdit

Character name Book Author Details Reference
The Narrator Written on the Body Jeanette Winterson Bisexual; main character of unspecified gender who has sexual/romantic relationships with men and women. Some reviewers describe the narrator as a lesbian. [51][52]
Alex Nilsson A Fairly Honourable Defeat Iris Murdoch Gay [32]
Noah Boy Meets Boy David Levithan Gay. In love with Paul. [19]
Hélène Noris The Illusionist Françoise Mallet-Joris Has a sexual relationship with another woman. [4]

OEdit

Character name Book Author Details Reference
Jeff O'Brien The Men from the Boys
Where The Boys Are
Men Who Love Men
William J. Mann Gay [6]

PEdit

Character name Book Author Details Reference
Paul Boy Meets Boy David Levithan Gay; main character. Ex-boyfriend of Kyle, in love with Noah. [6][19]
Louis de Pointe du Lac The Vampire Chronicles Anne Rice Though his sexual orientation is never explicitly specified, Louis finds Lestat de Lioncourt attractive, and the two have some sexual relationship. [7]
Margaret Prior Affinity Sarah Waters Lesbian; main character who pursues a romantic relationship with another woman. [20]

SEdit

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Character name Book Author Details Reference
Alec Scudder Maurice E. M. Forster Gay [6]
Danny Slocum The Confessions of Danny Slocum George Whitmore Gay [6]
Tamara Soulerr The Illusionist Françoise Mallet-Joris Bisexual. Has sexual relationship with a man, and with his daughter. [4]
Stefen The Last Herald Mage trilogy Mercedes Lackey Gay [8]
Stella Gut Symmetries Jeanette Winterson Bisexual; falls in love with and marries a man, falls in love with and has a sexual relationship with a woman. [30]
Sutherland Dancer from the Dance Andrew Holleran Gay [46]

TEdit

Character name Book Author Details Reference
Idgie Threadgoode Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe Fannie Flagg Lesbian; main character who has long-term romantic relationship with another woman, and sexual encounters with one other woman. [40]
Tony Boy Meets Boy David Levithan Gay. Child of orthodox Jewish parents. [53][54]
Aud Torvingen The Blue Place Nicola Griffith Lesbian [4]
Tayend of Tremmelin The Black Magician Trilogy Trudi Canavan Gay; referred to in novel as a 'lad'. Lover of Ambassador Dannyl. [18]
Sue Trinder Fingersmith Sarah Waters Lesbian; main character who has a romantic/sexual relationship with another woman. [45]
Jack Twist Brokeback Mountain Annie Proulx Main character who has a long term sexual relationship with another man as well as being married to a woman and having sexual relationships with other men. Critics have described him variously as gay or bisexual. [21][22]
Jaret Tyler Happy Endings Are All Alike Sandra Scoppettone Lesbian; has a sexual and romantic relationship with another woman and identifies as a lesbian. [4]
Raymond Tyler Jr. Invisible Life
Just As I Am
Abide With Me
E. Lynn Harris Bisexual [6][55]

UEdit

Character name Book Author Details Reference
Clodagh Unwin A Village Affair Joanna Trollope Lesbian; has a sexual and romantic relationship with another woman. [4]

VEdit

Character name Book Author Details Reference
Clarissa Vaughan The Hours Michael Cunningham Lesbian; in a long-term relationship with another woman. [4]

WEdit

Character name Book Author Details Reference
Min Wei Geography Club Brent Hartinger Bisexual [4]
Patience White Patience and Sarah Isabel Miller [24]
Liza Winthrop Annie on My Mind Nancy Garden Lesbian [42]
Felicity Worthington The Gemma Doyle Trilogy Libba Bray Lesbian

XEdit

Character name Book Author Details Reference
X   (Narrator's pseudonym) Boy Culture Matthew Rettenmund Gay; has sexual and romantic relationships with Andrew, Joe and other men. [6]

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See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Shively, M.G.; Jones, C.; DeCecco, J. P. (1984). "Research on sexual orientation: definitions and methods". Journal of Homosexuality 9 (2/3): pp. 127–137. doi:10.1300/J082v09n02_08. Retrieved on 2007-07-10.</cite>  </li>
  2. <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Gerdes-1988">Gerdes, L.C. (1988). The Developing Adult, Second Edition, Durban: Butterworths; Austin, TX: Butterworth Legal Publishers. ISBN 0409101885.</cite>  </li>
  3. <cite style="font-style:normal">Sell, Randall L. (December 1997). "Defining and Measuring Sexual Orientation: A Review: How do you define sexual orientation?". Archives of Sexual Behavior 26 (6): pp. 643–658. doi:10.1023/A:1024528427013. Retrieved on 2007-07-11.</cite>  </li>
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Lo, Malinda (2007-05-22). 13 Lesbian and Bi Characters You Should Know. AfterEllen.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-01. Retrieved on 2007-11-19. </li>
  5. Jamneck, Lynne (2005). An Interview with Lynn Flewelling. Writing-World.com. Retrieved on 2007-07-07. </li>
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 Meloy, Kilian (2007-09-24). Influential Gay Characters in Literature. AfterElton.com. Retrieved on 2007-10-09. </li>
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Haggerty, George E. (1998). Anne Rice and the queering of culture. Novel: A Forum on Fiction. Retrieved on 2007-07-07. </li>
  8. 8.0 8.1 Lackey, Mercedes (2005). Ask Misty Archive - Valdemar. The World of Mercedes Lackey. Retrieved on 2007-07-22. </li>
  9. Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters (review). Powell's Books. Retrieved on 2007-07-07. </li>
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters (review). Barnes & Noble.com. Retrieved on 2007-07-07. </li>
  11. The Hotel New Hampshire Review. Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved on 2007-10-06. </li>
  12. <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Day-2000">Day, Frances Ann (2000). Lesbian and Gay Voices: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide to Literature. Korea: Greenwood Press, 20. ISBN 0313311625.</cite>  </li>
  13. Walker, Peter. Dave Brandstetter. ThrillingDetective.com. Retrieved on 2007-07-22. </li>
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 <cite id="CITEREFYndigoyen2005">Yndigoyen, Rose (2005-07-16), The Beebo Brinker Chronicles, <http://www.afterellen.com/Print/2006/6/beebo.html>. Retrieved on 22 July 2007</cite>  </li>
  15. <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Young-2003">Young, Tory (2003). Michael Cunningham's the Hours: A Reader's Guide. Continuum International Publishing Group, 37. ISBN 0826414761.</cite>  </li>
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 <cite id="CITEREFEmert2002">Emert, Toby (2002), “An Interview with Alex Sanchez, Author of Rainbow Boys”, ALAN Review, <http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa4063/is_200210/ai_n9098446>. Retrieved on 10 October 2007</cite>  </li>
  17. Life Mask by Emma Donoghue. BiblioFemme. Retrieved on 2007-07-07. </li>
  18. 18.0 18.1 <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Canavan-2002">Canavan, Trudi (2002). The Novice. Orbit, 480. ISBN 1904233678.</cite>  </li>
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Boy Meets Boy description. davidleviathan.com (2007). Retrieved on 2008-02-16. </li>
  20. 20.0 20.1 Holcombe, Garan (2005). Sarah Waters - Critical Perspective. ContemporaryWriters.com. Retrieved on 2007-07-09. </li>
  21. 21.0 21.1 <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Phillips-2000">Phillips, Richard; Diane Watt (2000). De-Centering Sexualities: Politics and Representations Beyond the Metropolis. Routledge, 2–5. ISBN 0415194652.</cite>  </li>
  22. 22.0 22.1 <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Rood-2001">Rood, Karen Lane (2001). Understanding Annie Proulx. Univ of South Carolina Press, 187–190. ISBN 1570034028.</cite>  </li>
  23. <cite id="CITEREFBehling2002">Behling, Harold John (2002-07-03), “The Rules of Attraction's bleak originality shows character study”, University Chronicle, <http://media.www.universitychronicle.com/media/storage/paper231/news/2002/03/07/Sports/The-Rules.Of.Attractions.Bleak.Originality.Shows.Character.Study-206774.shtml>. Retrieved on 6 October 2007</cite>  </li>
  24. 24.0 24.1 Katz, Jonathan. Writing and Publishing Patience and Sarah. Retrieved on 2007-07-22. </li>
  25. "JK Rowling says wizard Dumbledore is gay", Washington Post, 2007-10-20. Retrieved on 2007-10-20.  </li>
  26. "JK Rowling outs Dumbledore as gay", BBC News, 2007-10-20. Retrieved on 2007-10-20.  </li>
  27. "Rowling dubs Dumbledore of Harry Potter books as gay". Retrieved on 2007-10-20.  </li>
  28. "J.K. Rowling outs Hogwarts character", Yahoo! News, 2007-10-20. Retrieved on 2007-10-20.  </li>
  29. <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Hunter-2004">Hunter, Richard (2004). Plato's Symposium. Oxford University Press, 115. ISBN 0195160797.</cite>  </li>
  30. 30.0 30.1 <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Griffin-2000">Griffin, Gabriele (2000). Romancing the Margins?: Lesbian Writing in the 1990s. Haworth Press, 73. ISBN 1560231335.</cite>  </li>
  31. <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Mizejewski-2004">Mizejewski, Linda (2004). Hardboiled and High Heeled: The Woman Detective in Popular Culture. Routledge, 26. ISBN 0415969719.</cite>  </li>
  32. 32.0 32.1 <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Grimshaw-2005">Grimshaw, Tammy (2005). Sexuality, Gender, And Power In Iris Murdoch's Fiction. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 37. ISBN 0838640613.</cite>  </li>
  33. <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Huff-1990">Huff, Tanya (1990). The Fire's Stone. “Darvish made certain they had plenty to report as he filled his life with wine and his bed with every willing body he stumbled across...”</cite>  </li>
  34. <cite id="CITEREFDa_Silva1998">Da Silva, Stephen (1998), “Transvaluing immaturity: reverse discourses of male homosexuality in E.M. Forster's posthumously published fiction”, Criticism, <http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2220/is_n2_v40/ai_20992277/print>. Retrieved on 6 October 2007</cite>  </li>
  35. <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Horan-1997">Horan, Patrick M. (1997). The Importance of Being Paradoxical: Maternal Presence in the Works of Oscar Wilde. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 88. ISBN 0838637337.</cite>  </li>
  36. Though Harkonnen is the biological father of Lady Jessica, it is noted in Dune that this is because he "once permitted himself to be seduced." </li>
  37. <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Herbert-1965">Herbert, Frank (1965). Dune. “'I'll be in my sleeping chambers,' the Baron said. 'Bring me that young fellow we bought on Gamont, the one with the lovely eyes. Drug him well. I don't feel like wrestling.'”</cite>  </li>
  38. <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Herbert-1965">Herbert, Frank (1965). Dune. “'Why haven't you ever bought a Bene Gesserit, Uncle?' Feyd-Rautha asked. 'With a Truthsayer at your side —' 'You know my tastes!' the Baron snapped ... 'This old fool saw through the shielded needle you'd planted in that slave boy's thigh. Right where I'd put my hand on it, eh?'”</cite>  </li>
  39. Amazon.com Editorial review. Abide With Me. Amazon.com. Retrieved on 2007-10-12. “Basil Henderson ... is regularly attending therapy ... although it doesn't seem to be helping him deal with ... his denial of his bisexuality ...” </li>
  40. 40.0 40.1 <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Greenhill/Tye-1998">Greenhill/Tye (1998). Undisciplined Women: Tradition and Culture in Canada. McGill-Queen's Press, 143. ISBN 0773516158.</cite>  </li>
  41. <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Griffin-2002">Griffin, Gabriele (2002). Who's Who in Lesbian and Gay Writing. Routledge, 217. ISBN 0415159849.</cite>  </li>
  42. 42.0 42.1 <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Day-2000">Day, Frances Ann (2000). Lesbian and Gay Voices: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide to Literature. Korea: Greenwood Press, 29. ISBN 0313311625.</cite>  </li>
  43. <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Richards-2005">Richards, Gary (2005). Lovers And Beloveds: Sexual Otherness In Southern Fiction, 1936-1961. LSU Press, 31. ISBN 0807130516.</cite>  </li>
  44. Richardson, Susan B. (1998). Along the Journey River - Review. MELUS. Retrieved on 2008-01-04. </li>
  45. 45.0 45.1 <cite id="CITEREFGilling2002">Gilling, Tom (2002-02-24), “Our Mutual Attraction”, The New York Times, <http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9804E4DB143FF937A15751C0A9649C8B63>. Retrieved on 7 July 2007</cite>  </li>
  46. 46.0 46.1 <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Bergman-2004">Bergman, David (2004). The Violet Hour: The Violet Quill and the Making of Gay Culture. Columbia University Press, 78. ISBN 0231130503.</cite>  </li>
  47. <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Day-2000">Day, Frances Ann (2000). Lesbian and Gay Voices: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide to Literature. Korea: Greenwood Press, 16. ISBN 0313311625.</cite>  </li>
  48. Now and Then Now and Then Review. Amazon.com. Retrieved on 2007-07-09. </li>
  49. Hallucinating Foucault synopsis. Powell's Books. Retrieved on 2008-03-09. </li>
  50. Author! Author!. NYTimes.com. Retrieved on 2008-03-09. </li>
  51. <cite id="CITEREFStowersPurvis1995">Stowers, Cath & Purvis, June (1995), (Hetero)sexual Politics - Journeying with Jeanette: Transgressive Travels in Winterson's Fiction, Taylor & Francis, ISBN 0748402950, <http://books.google.com/books?id=J58tLcI__2YC&pg=PP1&dq=(Hetero)sexual+Politics&ei=7nQHR9K6GoWY7wLdmISDAg&output=html&sig=Bv7HK-voi8Drd2uC5AWxLfBvAgg></cite>  </li>
  52. <cite class="book" style="font-style:normal" id="Reference-Gilmore-2001">Gilmore, Leigh (2001). The Limits of Autobiography: Trauma and Testimony. Cornell University Press, 127. ISBN 0801486742.</cite>  </li>
  53. Amazon.com Editorial Reviews. Boy Meets Boy. </li>
  54. Webber, Carlie Kraft. Boy Meets Boy review - TeenReads.com </li>
  55. Amazon.com Editorial reviews. Invisible Life. Amazon.com/Library Journal. Retrieved on 2007-10-12. </li></ol>

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