James Courage Diaries
New Zealand author James Courage was born in Christchurch in 1903, and he became aware of his homosexuality during his adolescent years. He moved to London in 1927 and began writing novels, plays, poems and short stories. He was much more sexually open than most of his homosexual writer contemporaries – Frank Sargeson, Eric McCormick, Charles Brasch and Bill Pearson. A Way of Love, published in 1959, was the first gay novel written by a New Zealander, and some of his other seven novels (including Fires in the Distance and The Call Home) contain queer characters.Between 1920 and 1963, Courage confided his innermost thoughts to a private diary. He wrote about leaving New Zealand, the men he met in London’s streets, and forging friendships in the literary scene. He was an evocative chronicler of landscapes and indoor settings: life on long ocean voyages, air raid shelters during the war, and the psychiatrist’s clinic at a time when society was deeply ambivalent about homosexuality. Courage recorded his personal triumphs and struggles with an engaging honesty, a lively intelligence, and a whimsical sense of humour.