Joseph Hansen (1923-2004) was a pioneer of private eye fiction, whose main character, Dave Brandstetter, an insurance investigator, was the first gay protagonist in the detective field published by a mainstream house. The first Brandstetter novel, Fadeout, was published in 1970. At the time of publication, being gay was illegal in 49 of the 50 states.
Richard Wolinsky and Richard A. Lupoff had a chance to interview Joseph Hansen on June 14th, 1990 following the publication of the eleventh novel, The Boy Who Was Buried This Morning. It turned into a career retrospective.
There were twelve Brandstetter novels in all, culminating in 1991’s A Country of Old Men. Successful at the time, they’d fallen out of print since Hansen’s death, and are now being reissued by Syndicate Books and distributed by Soho Press. The first three books in the series, Fadeout, Death Claims and Troublemaker, were published on January 8th, 2022, with each succeeding book published on the eighth day of each succeeding month.
Priot to the Brandstetter books, Joseph Hansen published gay-centric novels in various small presses under a pseudonym. Two gothic novels under the pseudonym Rose Brock. There were also autobiographical novels and short story collections among his output. Despite the acclaim his books received, none of Joseph Hansen’s work has ever been adapted for film or television.
This interview has not been heard since its initial airing thirty years ago, and has never seen the light of day in its entirety. It was digitized, remastered, and re-edited in February 2022 by Richard Wolinsky.