In 1997, Adam Mars-Jones published a selection of nonfiction writings on gay issues and other topics in a book entitled Blind Bitter Happiness. His 1993 novel The Waters of Thirst received critical praise on both sides of the Atlantic. He also edited Mae West Is Dead: Recent Lesbian and Gay Fiction (1983).
In 1982, Adam Mars-Jones received the Somerset Maugham Award for Lantern Lecture, and Other Stories. He has received widespread critical praise for his fiction; Edmund White hailed him as England’s most incisive and intelligent writer.
Canning, Richard. “Not Fade Away.” New Statesman and Society 5 (September 25, 1992): 57. Discusses the stories in Monopolies of Loss, distinguishing between those previously published in The Darker Proof and those written since, finding that the newer pieces are distinguished by “subtler gradations of character.”
McCann, Richard. “Writing AIDS.” Lambda Book Report 3 (July/August, 1992): 10-11. An interview with Adam Mars-Jones, who discusses the peculiar problems involved in writing about AIDS. He asserts that an understated style, such as his own, encourages readers to avoid emotional judgments and to treat AIDS-related issues rationally while being sympathetic to victims and those who care for them.
Mars-Jones, Adam. “I Was a Teenage Homophobe.” New Statesman 11 (June 19, 1998): 23-25. Mars-Jones, an openly gay man, admits that he was homophobic himself during his teens. Explores attitudes of “straights” towards gays and the homophobia of his own father, who was a judge noted for his harsh sentencing of homosexuals. Mars-Jones concludes that there is little difference between gays’ fear of straights and straights’ fear of gays. This short article contains much interesting biographical information.
Murphy, Timothy F., and Suzanne Poirier, eds. Writing AIDS: Gay Literature, Language, and Analysis. New York: Columbia University Press, 1993. This excellent volume contains essays by fifteen authors on every aspect of writing about AIDS for the purpose of informing the public and demystifying the disease. Contains discussions of Mars-Jones’s short stories and those of his highly influential friend and mentor Edmund White.
Wine, Pamela. “Fiction in the Plague Years: Writing in the Shadow of AIDS.” JAMA 271 (March 2, 1994): 717-718. Compares and contrasts Mars-Jones and Dale Peck, both gay fiction writers, from a medical perspective. Such works of fiction, Wine contends, can help medical students understand the special problems facing the AIDS patients they are likely to encounter as medical professionals.
Wood, Gaby. “Something Fresh and Citric.” The Times Literary Supplement (March 7, 1997): 36. This insightful article uses the publication of Mars-Jones’s Blind Bitter Happiness as a springboard for a discussion of the author’s entire career.