Fiedler, Leslie, 1917–2003, American critic, b. Newark, N.J., grad. New York Univ. (B.A. 1938), Univ. of Wisconsin (Ph.D. 1941). In his best-known and most controversial work, Love and Death in the American Novel (1960), Fiedler uses Freudian analysis to argue the presence of subtle homosexual themes in the work of Twain, Hawthorne, and other writers. His numerous other works include An End to Innocence: Essays on Culture and Politics (1955), Being Busted (1969), The Stranger in Shakespeare (1972), Freaks (1978), What Was Literature? (1982), Fiedler on the Roof (1991), and The Tyranny of the Normal (1996). Fiedler taught throughout his career, at the Univ. of Montana (1941–56) and subsequently at the State Univ. of New York at Buffalo.
See biography by M. R. Winchell (1986); S. G. Kellman and I. Malin, ed., Leslie Fiedler and American Culture (1999).