The University of Wisconsin Press

Fiction / Gay & Lesbian Interest

The Beauty of Men Never Dies
An Autobiographical Novel
David Leddick

"We don't have many voices with 70-plus years of experience to tell us what life and romance is like for a gay man at that age, but David Leddick has always defied expectations—never retiring, always reinventing himself. We are richer for having his voice to tell us what he sees from the vantage—advantage, actually—of his vibrant age, tall, proud, and ever wondering."
—Tom Bianchi, author of Men I've Loved

Buoyant and entertaining, this melding of memoir and fiction recounts with humor and candid observation a gay man’s romances in his seventies, offering insight into the joys (and a few of the sorrows) of loving, living, and aging with grace, style, and a fearless sense of fun.

Bouncing between Montevideo, New York, and Paris, the narrator reveals his adventurous life, his many lovers, his varied careers from dance to advertising, and the upbeat outlook that sustains him as he pursues the elusive Fenil, a handsome Uruguayan policeman.

David Leddick’s short sketches, interspersed with memories, attitudes, and opinions drawn from the past, combine in a vivid tale of a life lived with panache at an age when most people think the adventure has already ended.

“Our culture rarely allows the fantasies, desires, and longings of older people to be spoken, never mind published. The Beauty of Men Never Dies breaks that silence. In this memoir, writer, collector, and raconteur David Leddick not only reminisces about his life and loves, but gives us a vivid, important sense of what it means to be a gay man who has lived a full and happy life over the past seven decades. As a document of gay male history, The Beauty of Men Never Dies adds to our understanding of a complex past. As a memoir, it is moving reminder of how important sex is to being a creative human being.”—Michael Bronski, Harvard University

David Leddick
is a writer, playwright, actor, and contributor to the Huffington Post. His previous careers have included service in the U.S. Navy, dancing with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and working as creative director with the advertising clients Revlon and L’Oreal in New York and Paris. He began his writing career at the age of sixty-five, and he is the author of twenty-three books, including the novels My Worst Date and The Sex Squad, as well as many photography books about the male nude.


“Part autobiography, part novel, this reflection of a life still well lived is simply beautiful. Leddick’s writing is the sort of simple elegance we should all aspire to in all venues. Festive and fun.”
OutSmart Magazine

“Leddick's personality, witty candor, erotic outlook, and opinionated openness saturate every page. It's real, forthright, and as unsparingly candid as an 80ish gay man can get. If these stories are fiction, there is no way of knowing from just reading them, they are so lifelike.”
Bay Area Reporter

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

Of Related Interest:
cover of the Klein is an evocative photo of a man's legsThe End of Being Known
A Memoir
Michael Klein
"Klein's prose style, like his poetry, is dreamy, allusive, repetitive in that way that admirers term 'hypnotic.'"—Publishers Weekly


June 2013
LC: 2012043338 PS
144 pp.   5 1/2 x 8 1/4

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ISBN 978-0-299-29270-6
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ISBN 978-0-299-29273-7
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A trade imprint of the University of Wisconsin Press

“I loved reading these bracing pages, delighted by Leddick's frank insights and exhilarated by his humor.”
—Will Fellows, author of Gay Bar: The Fabulous True Story of a Daring Woman and Her Boys in the 1950s


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Updated March 14, 2013

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