AWP 2011 was abuzz with old friends and new friends alike. In between the lectures, panels, readings, and receptions we compiled this list of new and forthcoming books that authors, publishers, editors and readers are already buzzing about. What books are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments section below.

March 2011

I AM J
by Cris Beam
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Young Adult Fiction

The pre-release buzz for Lambda Literary Award winner Cris Beam’s new YA novel has been off-the-charts positive.  Kirkus sums it up best: “Finally, a book about a transgender teen that gives its central character a life in which gender and transition matter but do not define his existence!” Did we mention starred reviews in Booklist and BCCB?

LBBYR

INSIDE THE MONEY MACHINE
by Minnie Bruce Pratt
Carolina Wren Press
Poetry

Lambda Literary Award winner Minnie Bruce Pratt’s new collection of poetry, inspired by the Communist Manifesto, has garnered raves from writers like Michael Burkard, Rigoberto González, Don Mee Choi, and M.L. Liebler.

Carolina Wren Press

BIG SEX LITTLE DEATH
A Memoir
by Susie Bright
Seal Press
Memoir

Don’t take our word for it, just read the blurbs from this Lambda Literary Award winner’s influential friends and bloggers including Josh Marshall, Alison Bechdel and Dan Savage, who writes, “Susie Bright’s real life is just as compelling—more compelling—than her sex life. And that’s saying something.”

Seal Press

UNTIED
A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering
by Meredith Baxter
Crown Archetype
Memoir

Following in the footsteps of other celebrity coming-out bestsellers (Ricky Martin, Portia De Rossi, Chely Wright), the “Family Ties” star shares her story of alcohol recovery, difficult marriage, bout with breast cancer, and finally coming out. Expect to see Baxter at the red carpet of next year’s GLAAD Awards.

Crown

TRUE STORIES
Portraits from My Past
by Felice Picano
Chelsea Station Editions
Memoir

Violet Quill Club co-founder, Felice Picano was a pioneer of LGBT publishing, and according to the promo materials the new book, “presents sweet and sometimes controversial anecdotes of [the author’s] precocious childhood, odd, funny, and often disturbing encounters from before he found his calling as a writer.”

Chelsea Station Editions

April 2011

HUNTRESS
by Malinda Lo
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Young Adult Fiction

Lambda Literary Award finalist Malinda Lo’s follow-up to her acclaimed novel, Ash, is actually a prequel. Set in the same world as the previous novel, Huntress promises to be a huge success this summer with LGBT teens and SF Fantasy fans alike. Bloggers are already atwitter about the novel by the former managing editor of AfterEllen.com. Could Malinda Lo be the next Steph Meyer? We think so.

LBBYR

WHAT YOU SEE IN THE DARK
by Manuel Muñoz
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Fiction/Noir

Lambda Literary Award finalist Muñoz’s debut novel is making a splash. Not only was he featured in Publishers Weekly earlier this month alongside top debut fiction writers, according to the official PW review, “The lyrical prose and sensitive portrayal of the crime’s ripple effect in the small community elevate this far beyond the typical noir.”

Catch the author on his 10-city book tour.

Algonquin

RED DUST ROAD
An Autobiographical Journey
by Jackie Kay
Atlas
Memoir

Scottish poet, novelist, and Lambda Literary Award winner Jackie Kay chronicles her  journey to find her birth parents in her memoir, Red Dust Road, which debuted in the UK last spring to critical acclaim. And although she’s currently on tour promoting her new book of poetry Fiere (Picador UK), we hope she’ll have time to stop by LambdaLiterary.org for a brief Q&A.

Atlas

DONOVAN’S BIG DAY
Leslea Newman and illustrated by Mike Dutton
Tricycle Press
Children’s

Donovan’s moms are getting married in this picture book that’s perfect for all LGBT families. Written by 6-time Lambda Literary Award finalist and author of Heather Has Two Mommies, Leslea Newman.

Tricyle Press

FASTING FOR RAMADAN
by Kazim Ali
Tupelo Press
Essays

What started as a blog and personal journal is now combined in a gripping collection of essays structured as a chronicle of daily meditations, during two cycles of the 30-day rite of daytime fasting required by Ramadan. Ali’s poetry is also featured in the latest issue of Bloom.

Tupelo Press

TORN
C. Dale Young
Four Way Books
Poetry

Lambda Literary Award-finalist C. Dale Young’s publishers (Four Way Books) sold all 75 advance copies of his new poetry collection during the poet’s signing at AWP. Enough said.

Four Way Books

May 2011

A QUEER HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES
by Michael Bronski
Beacon
LGBT Studies

With a title as bold as this, how is this two-time Lambda Literary Award winner’s new book not highly-anticipated? Kirkus gave it a starred review hailing this, “A lucid, cerebral treatise on gay culture from the point of view of a clever historian who maintains that  ‘the heritage of LGBT people is the heritage of Americans.'”

Beacon

CELLULOID ACTIVIST
The Life and Legacy of Vito Russo
by Michael Schiavi
University of Wisconsin Press
Biography

Author David Carter’s quote speaks for itself:

“This important book brings both an era and its sensibilities to life by engagingly telling the story of a major gay civil rights activist. Russo’s contribution to the movement for gay equality through practically inventing the  field of LGBT film history is enormous. Readers will find themselves inspired by Russo’s unflagging courage, passion, and downright tenacity.”

University of Wisconsin Press

THE BURNING HOUSE
Paul Lisicky
Etruscan Press
Fiction

Lambda Literary Award finalist Paul Lisicky’s new collection made two lists last month including 10 Anticipated Books of 2011 by Dzanc Books (alongside Justin Torres, see below) and Books to Look Forward to in 2011 by Michele Filgate.

Etruscan Press

TO DO
A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays
(Beinecke Rare Book Manuscript)
by Gertrude Stein, Giselle Potter, and T.G. Young

Yale University Press
Children’s

When a rare manuscript by Gertrude-effing-Stein is mentioned, we pay attention. Thankfully Richard Labonté put this on our radar last month. According to the publisher’s catalog, this is the “first ever illustrated edition of avant-garde writer Gertrude Stein’s whimsical children’s book.”

Rejected by publishers during Stein’s lifetime for being “too complex for children,” To Do will also be available as an e-book, which makes perfect bed-time reading for iPad-toting parents and Stein fans alike.

Yale University Press

A FAST LIFE
The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos
by Tim Dlugos
edited by David Trinidad
Nightboat Books
Poetry

Ted Berrigan called this Lambda Literary Award finalist “the Frank O’Hara of his generation.” Now poet David Trinidad follows up Powerless (Serpent’s Tail), with a collection of all of the poems Dlugos published in his lifetime, previously unpublished poems, and an introduction, chronology, and notes. Dlugos is featured in the anthology Persistent Voices (Alyson) edited by our very own David Groff and Philip Clark.

Nightboat

June 2011

AMBIENTES
New Queer Latino Writing
Edited by Lazaro Lima and Felice Picano
University of Wisconsin Press
Anthology

Can you believe it’s been over a decade since Jaime Manrique and Jesse Dorris’ anthology, Besame Mucho was last published, and almost as long since Tortilleras came out? Finally, a new anthology of LGBT Latino literary expression that collects some of our favorite writers including Lambda Literary Award winner Achy Obejas, finalists Rigoberto González, Myriam Gurba, and Emanuel Xavier, in addition to Charles Rice-Gonzalez and Steven Cordova.

Related: Duke University Press is publishing two LGBT Latino books this year: Gay Latino Studies edited by Michael Hames-García, Ernesto Javier Martínez, Tomás Almaguer, and Luz Calvo and Tacit Subjects by Carlos Ulises Decena.

9780299282240

University of Wisconsin Press

QUARANTINE
Stories
by Rahul Mehta
Harper Perennial
Short Stories / Debut Fiction

The description of this book mentions Jhumpa Lahiri and Michael Cunningham in the same sentence. Add an arresting book cover and the phrase “Indian-American gay men” and you have our attention.

The debut collection was published to positive reviews in India last summer. An MFA graduate from Syracuse University, Rahul Mehta’s debut novel is forthcoming from Harper in 2014.

Harper Perennial

REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS I FORGOT
by Bob Smith
University of Wisconsin Press/Terrace Books
Fiction

Even with no cover, no bound galleys/ARCS, Smith’s latest is by far one of the most requested books by LLF reviewers. The Lambda Literary Award winner was a top pick on the Band of Thebes end of year round-up, and the book wasn’t even published yet.

Christopher Bram raves:

This is the gay time-travel novel about a comic book dealer in his forties who travels back to New York in the 1980s where he meets his younger, more innocent self.

The book combines great comic prose with the imagination of the best science-fiction and the emotional soul of first-rate autobiographical fiction. It’s both ingenious and moving, a rare combination.

I can’t recommend it too highly.

Terrace Books

Fall & Winter 2011

DEAR PRUDENCE
New and Selected Poems
by David Trinidad
Turtle Point
Poetry

Here’s the first-look at the new book cover for David Trinidad’s poetry collection. A true poet’s poet, Trinidad is considered by many as one of the most underrated laureate’s of our time. During AWP, poet Aaron Smith championed Trinidad’s new collection as a must-read.

Turtle Point

WE THE ANIMALS
by Justin Torres
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Fiction

A 2007 Emerging Voices fellow, Justin Torres has already been featured alongside Paul Lisicky in the Dzanc Books blog as one of the 10 Anticipated books of the year by author Laura van den Berg. Among others, Bloom editor and founder, Charles Flowers, is an influential advocate of Torres’ work.  Did we mention that Torres is only 30?

Related: Five New Queer Voices To Watch Out For

THE STRANGER’S CHILD
by Alan Hollinghurst
Knopf
Fiction

The book isn’t even out yet in the UK, and GQ has already hailed it one of the “100 Best Things In The World,” for whatever that’s worth. Hollinghurst’s follow-up to the Man Booker Prize winning novel, The Line of Beauty, is described as “an epic story following the lives of two families from the eve of WWI to the close of the 20th century.”

TTLE TK
Poetry Collection
by Carol Guess
Black Lawrence Press
Poetry

Two-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, Carol Guess, has a new collection from the highly-esteemed Black Lawrence Press. Details forthcoming.

*LGBT Relevant



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  • Michael Craft

7 Responses to “23 Highly Anticipated* Books of 2011”

  1. Scott Cranin 11 February 2011 at 12:22 PM #

    I’m afraid my tastes might be a bit more pedestrian than Antonio’s but here goes.
    1. I’m in the midst of an advance copy Lee Thomas’ “The German” from Lethe Press. It’s a must as far as I’m concerned. He takes you to the dark side, exposes what’s there and lets you figure out whether you’ll be scared or not. It’s sort of the Hitchcockian approach to nocturnal fiction. During WWII a prisoner is shot by a firing squad, climbs out of grave and somehow finds his way to a small town in Texas where he makes furniture. He’s a zombie, but he’s living with folks and no one seems to notice that he’s dead – neither does he. And then a young man’s body turns up in the woods with his chest cavity empty and a small box with a note written in German in his mouth. You’ll have to yank the book out of my hands this weekend. (If you enjoy dark journeys, read his “Dust of Wonderland” from Alyson.)
    2. “Mere Mortals” from Erastes looks like it’s going to be another juicy historical romance from a master. She’s not churning out M/M books like the gay version of a Harlequin author, Erastes writes carefully plotted, rich, nuanced fiction that should be savored, like her character’s sex scenes. This story involves orphans, teachers and a mystery. I’m going to trust Erastes that she’s going to take us on an interesting and rather titillating journey.
    3. J.R. Ackerley’s “We Think the World of You” is getting a re-issue from the “New York Review of Books.” I loved this book about a middle-aged, middle-class man who fell in love with a lower-class guy who gets sent to prison. Somehow he ends up with the fellows dog and ends up falling in love with the German Shepherd. I’m a dog nut and this book sings to me. This author also wrote “My Dog Tulip” which has been adapted to an animated film.
    4. And now I’m going to go way off track from the above selection. The German gay publisher Bruno Gmunder is releasing “Porn: From Warhol to X-Tube” and I can’t wait to read it. Call me names, throw cheap shots my way, but it sounds like a fascinating book. It’s a great topic – and I’m not saying in the “I read Playboy for the articles” way. I want to read the book.
    5. Dennis Cooper has something coming out on April 30 called “Jerk”. I say something because I’m not exactly sure what it is. It’s a book/CD based on a Texas serial killer. I love Dennis Cooper and I’m glad he’s not writing about snotty teenage boys right now – so let’s see what he’s up to. It’s pricey at $39.99, but I’m sure it’s worth every penny – if you’re a fan.
    6. On June 9, Bob Smith’s “Remembrance of Things I Forgot” will finally be published and I can finally read it. This book was supposed to be published by Alyson a few years ago but it was lost in that implosion. Bob makes me laugh, cry and think. He’s a smart man and this is a must-read.
    7. I also am eagerly anticipating Alan Hollinghurst’s “The Stranger’s Child” scheduled for October 11.
    8. If you read Wayne Hoffman’s “Hard” you’ll be happy (like me) to note that his next novel “Sweet Like Sugar” is being published on August 30. It’s about the friendship between a 20ish gay man and an older Rabbi. Oy vey.
    9. Greg Herren and J.M. Redmenn are editing a collection of gay noir stories for Bold Strokes called “Men of the Men Streets” that looks like it could be wonderful. The gay men’s books coming from Bold Strokes have been great and Mr. Herren knows his mysteries. I’m certainly looking forward to this one.

    Well, I know that nine is an odd number to stop at, but to be blunt, I’m stopping here because I’m real hungry and need to get some lunch. I’m sure that I conjure lots more anticipated books – but that’s all for now.


    • Antonio Gonzalez Cerna 13 February 2011 at 12:18 PM #

      Hey Scott! This is a great list! I didn’t know about several of these books, including the new Herren and Redmann. Thanks for giving us all a heads up!

      The only Dennis Cooper book I knew about, until now, was the illustrated reissue of “Horror Hospital Unplugged” by Harper Perennial.

      But Jerk seems very fascinating. Agreed. I’d also like to see something different from Cooper. Although, I’m a huge fan of “Sluts” and “Ugly Man” I really, really NEED to see Cooper depart from the themes he relies so heavily upon.

      I’ll have to ask Steve for a copy of Lee Thomas’ “The German” — because I haven’t seen it yet.

      Again, thanks Steve!
      Your list is great.
      A


  2. Carol Rosenfeld 11 February 2011 at 1:27 PM #

    I was in the 2007 LLF Emerging Writers fiction workshop with Justin Torres and from the moment I first read his work I was in absolute awe of him. Prepare to be blown away.


  3. Sally 11 February 2011 at 1:52 PM #

    “I Am J” sounds interesting, but its Malinda Lo’s “The Huntress” that has me excited. I knew it was coming, but had no idea it was a prequel – that kind of resets all my expectations (but not necessarily in a bad way).


  4. Carol Guess 18 February 2011 at 11:25 PM #

    Hi,
    What a great list! And thanks for including my forthcoming poetry collection, which is titled “Doll Studies: Forensics,” and based on Corinne May Botz’s photographs of “The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death.” Thought I’d give a shout out to another forthcoming book of note: “They Could No Longer Contain Themselves,” a collection of five flash fiction chapbooks from Rose Metal Press. Several of the authors deal with queer themes and characters. Enjoy!


  5. Dan Iddings 23 September 2011 at 3:44 PM #

    We the Animals is reviewed in this weekends NYT Book Review section. It’s a great review. You can find it at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/books/review/we-the-animals-by-justin-torres-book-review.html?_r=1&nl=books&emc=booksupdateema3



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