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October is upon us and so are a slew of new and noteworthy LGBT books.
Liveright is publishing a new “meta-memoir” by James McCourt, author of the acclaimed novel Mawrdew Czgowchwz. In the genre bending Lasting City, McCourt offers readers a series of emotionally wrought familial and geographical based reflections.
From the publisher:
Enjoined by his dying mother to “tell everything,” James McCourt was liberated by this deathbed wish to do just that. The result is Lasting City, a gripping, uniquely McCourt invention: an operatic recollection that braids a nostalgic portrait of old-Irish New York with a boy’s funny, gutter-snipe precocity and hardly innocent coming-of-age in the 1940s and ’50s. A literary outlaw in the poetic tradition of Verlaine and Baudelaire, McCourt tells his own story, his mother’s, his family’s, and that of a lost New York, the lasting city. While ostensibly an account of the author’s first seven years, Lasting City expands into a philosophical exploration of memory, perhaps as daring a statement on perception as anything since Faulkner—a kaleidoscopic unraveling of time.
Mating fact with fantasy, or fantasy with fact, McCourt takes us from his deeply moving bedside account of his mother Catherine’s death to its traumatic aftermaths both real and imagined, which are—as McCourt tells it—equally real. He revisits the fantasy city of his youth, sometimes in soliloquy, as well as in the plaintive threnody of an older man who recounts his tales of woe to a Hindu cabdriver named Pramit Banarjee on Broadway, only hours after leaving his mother’s bedside. By celebrating our powerlessness over memory, he explores the darkly intense Irish-American family romance and the love-hate relationship between an unusually bright boy and his eternally wise mother, who harbored an excruciating guilty secret.
Bloomsbury is publishing The Two Hotel Francforts, an evocative historical novel from author David Leavitt. The novel explores the beginning of World War II through the lens of passionate interpersonal relationships.
It is the summer of 1940, and Lisbon, Portugal, is the only neutral port left in Europe—a city filled with spies, crowned heads, and refugees of every nationality, tipping back absinthe to while away the time until their escape. Awaiting safe passage to New York on the SS Manhattan, two couples meet: Pete and Julia Winters, expatriate Americans fleeing their sedate life in Paris; and Edward and Iris Freleng, sophisticated, independently wealthy, bohemian, and beset by the social and sexual anxieties of their class. As Portugal’s neutrality, and the world’s future, hang in the balance, the hidden threads in the lives of these four characters—Julia’s status as a Jew, Pete and Edward’s improbable affair, Iris’s increasingly desperate efforts to save her tenuous marriage—begin to come loose. This journey will change their lives irrevocably, as Europe sinks into war.
Beloved British author Jeanette Winterson has a new book coming out this month. Set for a late October release in the US–it was released last year in the UK–The Daylight Gate (Grove) is a dark, haunting historical novel.
From the publisher:
Set in seventeenth-century England during the reign of James I—the monarch who wrote his own book on witchcraft—The Daylight Gate is best-selling writer Jeanette Winterson’s re-creation of a dark history full of complicated morality, sex, and tragic plays for power.
This is a world where to be a Catholic is a treasonable offense. A world where the new king vows to rid England of “witchery popery popery witchery” and condemns the High Mass and the Black Mass as equivalent heresies punishable by torture, hanging, and burning.
This literary suspense tale takes us dark and deep into a brutal period of English history, centered on the notorious Pendle witch trials of 1612—an infection of paranoia that crossed the ocean with the Pilgrim Fathers and set the scene for the 1692 Salem witch hunt.
Good Friday, 1612. Pendle Forest. A gathering of thirteen is interrupted by local magistrate Roger Nowell. Is this a coven or a helpless group of women trying to save their family from the stake? Already two stand accused of witchcraft. The wealthy and respected Alice Nutter sets out to defend them, haunted by her own past and an entanglement with magick. She doesn’t believe in the Devil, but as she fights for justice, her life is endangered by forces visible and invisible.
Bestselling author Christopher Rice takes a terror-filled look at the Louisiana bayou in his new novel The Heaven’s Rise :
It’s been a decade since the Delongpre family vanished near Bayou Rabineaux, and still no one can explain the events of that dark and sweltering night. No one except Niquette Delongpre, the survivor who ran away from the mangled stretch of guardrail on Highway 22 where the impossible occurred…and kept on running. Who left behind her best friends, Ben and Anthem, to save them from her newfound capacity for destruction…and who alone knows the source of her very bizarre—and very deadly—abilities: an isolated strip of swampland called Elysium.
An accomplished surgeon, Niquette’s father dreamed of transforming the dense acreage surrounded by murky waters into a palatial compound befitting the name his beloved wife gave to it, Elysium: “the final resting place for the heroic and virtuous.” Then, ten years ago, construction workers dug into a long-hidden well, one that snaked down into the deep, black waters of the Louisiana swamp and stirred something that had been there for centuries—a microscopic parasite that perverts the mind and corrupts the body.
Niquette is living proof that things done can’t be undone. Nothing will put her family back together again. And nothing can save her. But as Niquette, Ben, and Anthem uncover the truth of a devastating parasite that has the potential to alter the future of humankind, Niquette grasps the most chilling truths of all: someone else has been infected too. And unlike her, this man is not content to live in the shadows. He is intent to use his newfound powers for one reason only: revenge.
Author S. Bear Bergman examines ideas of queer family from a very personal vantage point in his new book Blood, Marriage and Glitter (Arsenal Pulp Press):
S. Bear Bergman is an acclaimed writer and lecturer who travels regularly across North America to speak on trans issues. Bear’s first two books, Butch Is a Noun and The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You, are considered essential texts on the subject of trans life. In his third essay collection, Bear enters, describes, and rearranges our ideas about family as a daughter, husband, father, and friend. In Bear’s extended family “orchard,” drag sisters, sperm-donor’s parents, Sparkles and other relations provide more branches of love, support, and sustenance than a simple family tree
Also this month, expect new books from Janette Jenkins, Jesse Bering, and Karis Walsh.
As always, if we missed an author or book, or if you have a book coming out next month, please email us.