BOOK REVIEW – Willy, The Third Sex


The Third Sex, translated with an introduction and notes by Lawrence R. Schehr

Willy, the pseudonym of Henry Gautheir-Villars, is best known as the first husband of Collette — the one who “encouraged” her to write her famous Claudine novels by locking her in her room and who then took credit for them. He also took credit for a number of other works, including this one, which is the first English translation of a work originally published in 1927 that reflects the open-mindedness of the first three decades of the twentieth century on the topic of same-sex sexuality.

It is an odd little book – part travelogue, part sociological study, but mostly, a literary essay. Willy is interested in how other writers have dealt with same-sex sexuality in their work.