Paul Landry Monette (October 16, 1945 – February 10, 1995) was an American author, poet, and activist best known for his essays about gay relationships.

Monette was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and graduated from Phillips Academy in 1963 and Yale University in 1967. The rigid social confines of his suburban, middle-class upbringing placed Monette in a position where life in the closet seemed to be the only option. For the majority of Monette’s childhood, he felt suffocated and alienated by the strict, religious atmosphere in which he was raised. Monette would later describe this life in the closet as hindering his personal development as a child, as he was forced to deny a part of his identity that was seen as sinful by everyone around him.[2] He described his youth in the closet as an ‘internal exile’, an ‘imprisonment’, and claimed that closeted life equates to ‘the gutting of all our passions till we are a bunch of eunuchs.’[3]

Conflicted about his sexual orientation, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where he taught writing and literature at Milton Academy. In 1978 he moved to West Hollywood with his romantic partner, lawyer Roger Horwitz (November 22, 1941 – October 22, 1986). He wrote and published several novels during this time period, starting with Taking Care of Mrs. Carroll in 1978, which featured a gay protagonist.[4] Monette himself later described the books he produced in this time period “glib and silly little novels.”[4] His more serious work came later in his life and was largely driven by his experiences with AIDS.

Books in order of publication:

The Carpenter at the Asylum: Poems1975
Taking Care of Mrs. Carroll1978
Nosferatu the Vampire1979
The Gold Diggers1979
The Long Shot1981
No Witnesses: Poems1981
Lightfall1982
Scarface1983
Predator1987
Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir1988
Midnight Run1988
Love Alone: Eighteen Elegies for Rog1988
Afterlife1990
Havana1990
Halfway Home1991
Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story1992
Selections from Borrowed Time: An Aids Memoir1992
Last Watch of the Night: Essays Too Personal and Otherwise1994
West of Yesterday, East of Summer: New and Selected Poems, 1973-19931994
The Politics of Silence1994
Sanctuary: A Tale of Life in the Woods1997
Reflections: The World of Paul Monette2017
Pretty Fun Birthday With The Bikers2017