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Fall is upon us and so are a slew of new and noteworthy LGBT books.
Liveright is publishing the long-awaited new collection by Allan Gurganus, author of the beloved bestselling novel Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. Local Souls is a humorous and humane portrait of a contemporary tight-knit southern community.
From the publisher:
Through memorable language and bawdy humor, Gurganus returns to his mythological Falls, North Carolina, home of Widow. This first work in a decade offers three novellas mirroring today’s face-lifted South, a zone revolutionized around freer sexuality, looser family ties, and superior telecommunications, yet it celebrates those locals who have chosen to stay local. In doing so, Local Souls uncovers certain old habits—adultery, incest, obsession—still very much alive in our New South, a “Winesburg, Ohio” with high-speed Internet.
Steerforth is publishing a provocative, and sure to be controversial, new book from writer Stephen Jimenez that reexamines the murder of Matthew Shepard. With The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard, Jimenez seeks to reveal new details and long-hidden truths surrounding the notorious crime.
Stephen Jimenez went to Laramie to research the story of Matthew Shepard’s murder in 2000, after the two men convicted of killing him had gone to prison, and after the national media had moved on. His aim was to write a screenplay on what he, and the rest of the nation, believed to be an open-and-shut case of bigoted violence. As a gay man, he felt an added moral imperative to tell Matthew’s story. But what Jimenez eventually found in Wyoming was a tangled web of secrets. His exhaustive investigation also plunged him deep into the deadly underworld of drug trafficking. Over the course of a thirteen-year investigation, Jimenez traveled to twenty states and Washington DC, and interviewed more than a hundred sources.
Who was the real Matthew Shepard and what were the true circumstances of his brutal murder? And now that he was larger than life, did anyone care? The Book of Matt is sure to stir passions and inspire dialogue as it re-frames this misconstrued crime and its cast of characters, proving irrefutably that Matthew Shepard was not killed for being gay but for reasons far more complicated — and daunting.
This month also sees the release of The Princess and the Outlaw: Tales from the Torrid Past (Lethe Press), a collection of erotic-tinged tales from author Jean Roberta:
The women awaiting you in these pages might be fierce Amazons in ancient Greece, maidens and princesses of the medieval era, ingenues like Alice awaiting new and more sensual adventures beyond the rabbit hole, or outlaws and pirates. But each and every one is open to the delights and passions of flesh and fantasy. Most of the couplings are with other women—friends, confidantes, instructors, lovers—but the wealth of erotic encounters is not solely confined to the Sapphic. These are, after all, a selection of erotist Jean Roberta’s finer historical short tales. So do not fear a bit of prick for the open petals which may be parted by another woman’s hand. Embrace what we all have down below, what we choose to expose and explore.
French artist and writer Julia Maroh’s celebrated graphic novel Blue is the Warmest Color (Arsenal Pulp Press), which inspired a Palme D’or winning film, finally receives a stateside release this month:
Originally published in French as Le bleu est une couleur chaude, Blue is the Warmest Color is a graphic novel about growing up, falling in love, and coming out. Clementine is a junior in high school who seems average enough: she has friends, family, and the romantic attention of the boys in her school. When her openly gay best friend takes her out on the town, she wanders into a lesbian bar where she encounters Emma: a punkish, confident girl with blue hair. Their attraction is instant and electric, and Clementine find herself in a relationship that will test her friends, parents, and her own ideas about herself and her identity.
Vividly illustrated and beautifully told, Blue Is the Warmest Color is a brilliant, bittersweet, full-color graphic novel about the elusive, reckless magic of love. It is a lesbian love story that crackles with the energy of youth, rebellion, and desire.
Author Joel Derfner deconstructs gay marriage from a very personal vantage point in his new book Lawfully Wedded Husband: How My Gay Marriage Will Save the American Family (University of Wisconsin Press):
When Joel Derfner’s boyfriend proposed to him, there was nowhere in America the two could legally marry. That changed quickly, however, and before long the two were on what they expected to be a rollicking journey to married bliss. What they didn’t realize was that, along the way, they would confront not just the dilemmas every couple faces on the way to the altar—what kind of ceremony would they have? What would they wear? Did they have to invite Great Aunt Sophie?—but also questions about what a relationship can and can’t do, the definition of marriage, and, ultimately, what makes a family.
Add to the mix a reality show whose director forces them to keep signing and notarizing applications for a wedding license until the cameraman gets a shot she likes; a family marriage history that includes adulterers, arms smugglers, and poisoners; and discussions of civil rights, Sophocles, racism, grammar, and homemade Ouija boards—coupled with Derfner’s gift for getting in his own way—and what results is a story not just of gay marriage and the American family but of what it means to be human.
As always, if we missed an author or book, or if you have a book coming out next month, please email us.