Coming Out, by Wallace Hamilton (Signet paperback, $1.75). How to write a gay liberation novel. A divorced man catches on and catches up. Entertaining and convincing.

The Gallery, by John Horne Burns (Bard/Avon paperback, $2.25). A reprint of the acclaimed 1947 novel, set during World War II in Naples and North Africa. Virgorous, striking characterizations of Allies and Italians, including "Momma," the seemingly unwitting proprietor of a gay bar.

The Other Persusasion, edited by Seymour Kleinberg (Random House paperback, $3.95). An excellent anthology of short fiction on homosexual themes. NONFICTION

After You're Out, edited by Karla Jay & Allen Young (Jove paperback, $1.95). A collection of gay liberation essays on the problematic second stage. How to live positively and politically in a nongay world.

Familiar Faces, Hidden Lives, by Howard Brown (Harvest paperback, $2.95). Autobiography interspliced with life stories of gay men constituting an inimate and informative explication of life in and out of the closet. By the late gay activist and former New York City health administator who had a sensational coming out on the front page of the New York Times.

A Family Matter, by Charles Silverstein (McGraw-Hill, $8.95). Balanced and reassuring advice of parents of gays based on solid family therapy precepts. Essentially, the message is "you are not alone, and not to blame; the rest is up to you."

Gay Source: A Catalog for Men, by Dennis Sanders (Coward McCann paperback, $6.95). This informative, sumptuously illustrated - mainly with Aryan-looking prototypes - resource book nevertheless makes one rather nostialgic for the days of the mimeographed pamphlet. Comprehensive listings of gay organizations, bookstores, resorts, etc., and essay by knowledgable writers.

The Homosexuals, by Alan Ebert (Macmillan, $9.95). Interviews with 17 gay men. Often despressing, warts-and-all encounters with "representative" gay lives.

The Joy of Gay Sex, by Charles Silverstein & Edmund White (Crown, $12.95). A really joyous book, witty and authoritative. Gay readers will want to compare with Men Loving Men (Gay Sunshine Press, P.O. Box 40397, San Francisco, California 94140, $6.95) and Loving Man (Hark, P.O. Box 431, Planetarium Station, New York, New York 10024, $11.95), more modest but equally informative sex and life-style manuals.

Playing the Game, by Roger Austen (Bobbs-Merrill paperback, $8.95). A valuable critical survey of the gay novel in the United States. Cautionary literary history for general readers and intransigent heads of English departments.

The Sexual Outlaw, by John Rechy (Grove, $8.95). This partly fictionalized account of the promiscuous "outlaw" subculture of Los Angeles means to be a polemic on oppression. Rechy is an original talent, but this book is finally torpedoed by fatuousness.

Straight Answers About Homosexuality for Straight Readers, by David Loovis (Prentice-Hall, $8.95). As it says. This well-meaning attempt to explain homosexuality to the general reader can't help but be an apologia for it - at a time when such an effort is clearly out of fashion among the group in question. BIOGRAPHY

Christopher and His Kind, by Christopher Isherwood (Avon paperback, $2.75). The moving camera snaps and snaps again. A "revisionist" history of gay life in Berlin and all over with Isherwood, a sure, steady, fluent guide.

The David Kopay Story, by David Kopay & Perry Deane Young (Bantam paperback, $1.95). Ex-NFL running back Kopay doesn't seem to know quite what hit him. His journey from jock to out-of-the-closet role model, with many a fumble between and between.

The Naked Civil Servant, by Quentin Crisp (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, $7.95). "A certain kind of homosexual person" who knew the line of least resistance was the most. This autobiography is a small stylistic masterpiece.

Tennessee Williams' Letters to Donald Windham (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, $10). Dispatches from the intemperate zone.What Williams colored prettily in his Memoirs is more vividly rendered here in this complex chronicle of a friendship that describes his career from "self-dramatization to self-justification."

Under the Rainbow, by Arnie Kantrowitz (Morrow, $8.95). One has to admire the candor and courage that produced this story of a nice Jewish boy and his struggle with a fickle self-image. Gay liberation, sexual liberation and disaffection are signposts on Kantrowitz's yellow brick road.