January 21, 2011

Memoir Hits #8 on Kindle Bestseller List for Gay & Lesbian Nonfiction

INDEPENDENT AUTHOR John Paul Godges has beaten the odds by hitting #8 on the Amazon Kindle bestseller list for gay and lesbian nonfiction with his family memoir, Oh, Beautiful: An American Family in the 20th Century.

“Independently published books are notorious for slow sales and for difficulty in reaching an audience,” said Godges. “Any time a self-published book makes it onto an Amazon top 10 bestseller list is an exceptional accomplishment, and I hope it’s just the beginning for this book.”

The product of ten years of historical and genealogical research, Oh, Beautiful: An American Family in the 20th Century recounts how the author’s family of Italian and Polish ancestry struggle with immigration, Prohibition, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cuban missile crisis, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Vietnam War, Watergate, gay liberation, the AIDS epidemic, and the women’s movement.

The stories of lesbian and gay family members are integral to the larger story of assimilation into American family life, said Godges. “The struggles of lesbians and gay men to find their places in their own biological families really do represent extreme cases of individuals who have no choice but to seek where they might fit in to America.”

A gay man himself, Godges was surprised when readers of early drafts kept asking for more details about his personal experience growing up gay in America. “I didn’t know why people were so interested,” he said. “But they were right. It was important for me to share how difficult that journey can be as a young gay person, because a lot of people are still afraid to talk about it, and it was even more important to show how lesbian and gay people can come through it all and find their places as indispensable members of the American family.”

The past year has witnessed a spate of suicides, beatings, and even tortures of gay men across America. “It is just as important as ever to help people understand what it’s like to be gay in society and how all of society suffers because of it,” Godges concluded.




Here are the Amazon Kindle rankings for Oh, Beautiful on January 20, 2011.