Theodore Bruce Bawer (born October 31, 1956) is an American writer who has been a resident of Norway since 1999. He is a literary, film, and cultural critic and a novelist and poet, who has also written about gay rights, Christianity, and Islam.
Bawer’s writings on literature, gay issues and Islam have all been highly controversial. While championing such authors as William Keepers Maxwell Jr., Flannery O’Connor, and Guy Davenport, he has criticized such authors as Norman Mailer and E. L. Doctorow. A member of the New Formalists, a group of poets who promoted the use of traditional forms, he has assailed such poets as Allen Ginsberg for what he views as their lack of polish and technique.
Bawer was one of the first gay activists to seriously propose same-sex marriage, especially in his book A Place at the Table (1993). While Europe Slept (2006) was one of the first to skeptically examine the rise of Islam in the Western world.
Although he has frequently been described as a conservative, Bawer has often protested that such labels are misleading or meaningless. He has explained his views as follows: “Read A Place at the Table and Stealing Jesus and While Europe Slept and Surrender one after the other and you will see that all four books are motivated by a dedication to individual identity and individual freedom and an opposition to group think, oppression, tyranny.”
Books in order of publication:
|The Middle Generation: The Lives and Poetry of Delmore Schwartz, Randall Jarrell, John Berryman, and Robert Lowell||1986|
|The Contemporary Stylist||1987|
|Diminishing Fictions: Essays on the Modern American Novel and Its Critics||1988|
|The Screenplay’s the Thing: Movie Criticism, 1986-1990||1992|
|Place at the Table: The Gay Individual in American Society||1993|
|The Aspect of Eternity: Essays||1993|
|Coast to Coast||1993|
|Odd Angles of Heaven: Contemporary Poetry by People of Faith||1994|
|Prophets & Professors: Essays on the Lives and Works of Modern Poets||1995|
|Beyond Queer: Challenging Gay Left Orthodoxy||1996|
|House & Home||1996|
|Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity||1997|
|I Do/I Don’t: Queers on Marriage||2004|
|While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within||2006|
|Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom||2009|
|Debating Islam: And Other Essays from the Post-9/11 Era||2011|
|The Victims’ Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind||2012|
|The New Quislings: How the International Left Used the Oslo Massacre to Silence Debate About Islam||2012|
|Islam: The Essays||2018|