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Welcome to Lambda Literary’s online book club. This book club will highlight a different lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender book each month. The books selected will be a heady mix of LGBT classics, unheralded gems, and buzz-worthy new releases.
We hope you’ll read along with us each month and share your thoughts on the books in the comments section.
We’d also love to hear your suggestions for upcoming selections or comments on the club in general. E-mail William at email@example.com.
This month’s selection is Michelle Theall’s Teaching The Cat to Sit:
From the time she was born, Michelle Theall knew she was different. Coming of age in the Texas Bible Belt, a place where it was unacceptable to be gay, Theall found herself at odds with her strict Roman Catholic parents, bullied by her classmates, abandoned by her evangelical best friend whose mother spoke in tongues, and kicked out of Christian organizations that claimed to embrace her—all before she’d ever held a girl’s hand. Shame and her longing for her mother’s acceptance led her to deny her feelings and eventually run away to a remote stretch of mountains in Colorado. There, she made her home on an elk migration path facing the Continental Divide, speaking to God every day, but rarely seeing another human being.
At forty-three years of age and seemingly settled in her decision to live life openly as a gay woman, Theall and her partner attempt to have their son baptized into the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in the liberal town of Boulder, Colorado. Her quest to have her son accepted into the Church leads to a battle with Sacred Heart and with her mother that leaves her questioning everything she thought she knew about the bonds of family and faith. And she realizes that in order to be a good mother, she may have to be a bad daughter.Teaching the Cat to Sit examines the modern roles of motherhood and religion and demonstrates that our infinite capacity to love has the power to shape us all.
Enjoy and remember: reading is fundamental
Teaching the Cat to Sit
By Michelle Theall
Hardcover, 9780316197960, 288pp.