Joseph Hansen (writer)

Joseph Hansen (writer)

Joseph Hansen (born July 19, 1923 in Aberdeen, South Dakota; died November 24, 2004) was an American mystery writer.

Life and works

Hansen wrote nearly 40 books in a variety of genres, but was best known for his Dave Brandstetter mystery-novels (starting with "Fadeout" in 1970). Brandstetter lasted for a total of twelve books spanning 21 years and was the first tough, hardboiled, no-nonsense detective who just happened to be homosexual. Hansen also wrote a series of short stories about Hack Bohannon, a combination private eye and horse-ranch-owner in central California.

Hansen published his first work, a poem, in the "The New Yorker", in 1952. He also published poetry in other magazines, briefly sang with a folk-music-group on a California radio-station, and had several part-time jobs in bookstores and magazines.

At the beginning of his career as a novelist, Hansen wrote under the pseudonym James Colton or James Coulton, producing novels such as "Strange Marriage" and "Known Homosexual". He also wrote two gothic novels under the pseudonym Rose Brock.

Hansen was also noted for writing poems, teaching workshops, and hosting a 1960s radio-show called "Homosexuality Today". In 1970, he helped to found the first Gay Pride Parade in Hollywood. Hansen disliked the term "gay" and always described himself as "homosexual".

Hansen won the 1992 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Private Eye Writers of America, as well as a Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Mystery from the Lambda Literary Foundation for "A Country of Old Men: The Last Dave Brandstetter Mystery" (1991).

Hansen was married to artist Jane Bancroft, a lesbian, from 1943 to her death in 1994. He said their relationship was that of "a gay man and a woman who happened to love each other." According to a friend quoted in an obituary, he also had two long-term male lovers.

A lifetime heavy smoker, Hansen died from heart failure in 2004 at his home in Laguna Beach, California. Hansen's only survivor was a daughter who underwent a sex change operation and is now living as a man.

External links

* [ Obituary for Joseph Hansen]
* [,11617,1369965,00.html Article in "The Guardian" about Hansen's death]
* [ Books by Joseph Hansen, mystery author]
* [ Joseph Hansen, mystery author interview] Tangents, links to blog & profile
* [ Joseph Hansen] at the GLBTQ Encyclopedia
* [ Column about Dave Brandstetter books] in historical context
* [ Photo]

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