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New month, new books! September is upon us, and so are a slew of new and noteworthy LGBT books.
The thing about desire is that it can be both an exuberantly freeing force and the cause of some serious emotional havoc. In her new novel The Paying Guests (Riverhead Press) acclaimed writer Sarah Waters explores the effects of runaway desire and how it can upend even the most placid of environments.
It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa—a large, silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants—life is about to be transformed as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers. With the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the “clerk class,” the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. Little do the Wrays know just how profoundly their new tenants will alter the course of Frances’s life—or, as passions mount and frustration gathers, how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.
Can one ever truly escape their past? This universally asked question is examined with a bracing sense of honesty and humanity in Christos Tsiolkas’ new novel Barracuda (Hogarth).
Fourteen-year-old Daniel Kelly is special. Despite his upbringing in working-class Melbourne, he knows that his astonishing ability in the swimming pool has the potential to transform his life, silence the rich boys at the private school to which he has won a sports scholarship, and take him far beyond his neighborhood, possibly to international stardom and an Olympic medal. Everything Danny has ever done, every sacrifice his family has ever made, has been in pursuit of this dream. But what happens when the talent that makes you special fails you? When the goal that you’ve been pursuing for as long as you can remember ends in humiliation and loss?
Twenty years later, Dan is in Scotland, terrified to tell his partner about his past, afraid that revealing what he has done will make him unlovable. When he is called upon to return home to his family, the moment of violence in the wake of his defeat that changed his life forever comes back to him in terrifying detail, and he struggles to believe that he’ll be able to make amends. Haunted by shame, Dan relives the intervening years he spent in prison, where the optimism of his childhood was completely foreign.
In the new memoir A Cup of Water Under the Bed (Beacon Press), writer Daisy Hernandez delves into the often conflicting and shifting realities of personal identity and community.
In this lyrical, coming-of-age memoir, Daisy Hernández chronicles what the women in her Cuban-Colombian family taught her about love, money, and race. Her mother warns her about and men who seduce you with pastries, while one tía bemoans that her niece is turning out to be instead of an American. Another auntie instructs that when two people are close, they are bound to become like uña y mugre, fingernails and dirt, and that no, Daisy’s father is not godless. He’s simply praying to a candy dish that can be traced back to Africa. These lessons—rooted in women’s experiences of migration, colonization, y cariño—define in evocative detail what it means to grow up female in an immigrant home. In one story,
Daisy sets out to defy the dictates of race and class that preoccupy her mother and tías, but dating women and transmen, and coming to identify as bisexual, leads her to unexpected questions. In another piece, NAFTA shuts local factories in her hometown on the outskirts of New York City, and she begins translating unemployment forms for her parents, moving between English and Spanish, as well as private and collective fears. In prose that is both memoir and commentary, Daisy reflects on reporting for the New York Times as the paper is rocked by the biggest plagiarism scandal in its history and plunged into debates about the role of race in the newsroom.
In The Queer South: Lgbtq Writers on the American South (Sibling Rivalry Press), editor and poet Douglas Ray has assembled an all star line-up of writers to illuminate the southern queer experience.
From Sibling Rivalry Press:
This anthology, dreamed up and edited by Douglas Ray, features poetry and prose that sings of and explores the queer experience of the American South. Included are Dorothy Allison, Shane Allison, John Andrews, Derrick Austin, Jeffery Berg, Richard Blanco, Perry Brass, Dustin Brookshire, Jericho Brown, Joey Connelly, William Cordeiro, Cleo Creech, James Croteau, J.K. Daniels, Nick Dephtereos, David Eye, Jason K. Friedman, D. Gilson, Ellen Goldstein, Mirian Brid Greenberg, Elizabeth Gross, Johnathan Harper, Scott Hightower, Matthew Hittinger, Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Rex Leonowicz, Sassafras Lowrey, Tyler Lynn, Bo McGuire, Rangi McNeil, Kelly McQuain, M. Mack, Ed Madden, Jeff Mann, Randall Mann, Mary Meriam, Stephen S. Mills, Cameron Mitchell, Foster Noone, Joseph Osmundson, Eddie Outlaw, Seth Pennington, Evan J. Peterson, Kenneth Pobo, Brad Richard, Hannah Riddle, Laurence Ross, Liana Roux, Kevin Sessums, Del Shores, Erin Elizabeth Smith, Will Stockton, Dan Stone, Christine Stroud, Billie Tadros, TC Tolbert, Dan Vera, Annie Virginia, Valerie Wetlaufer, C.T. Whitley, Scott Wiggerman, Cristan Williams, and L. Lamar Wilson.
E.M. Foster fans rejoice! This month, Europa Editions is publishing the paperback edition of Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut, a fictionalized accounting of the life and loves of the beloved English author.
[….] a fictionalized biography of English author E.M. Forster, focuses on Forster’s many years in India and the process of writing his masterpiece, A Passage to India. This compact, finely wrought novel also addresses Forster’s unforgiving childhood in England and the homosexuality he feared and repressed throughout his life. Psychologically acute without being sentimental, Forster’s relationships are described with compassion and great care. Galgut is a master at constructing strange, compelling landscapes, and Arctic Summer shifts seamlessly between staid, restricting England and Cairo and vibrant, pleasantly absurd India. Moments of gentle humor shine through the sparse prose, lending Forster a humanity that makes his story all the more heartbreaking
Are you a fan of queer cult icon Cookie Mueller? This month Bbooks Verlag is releasing a comprehensive overview of the underground writer and actress’ life titled Edgewise: A Picture of Cookie Mueller.
Cookie Mueller (1949–1989) was a firecracker, a cult figure, a wild child, a writer, a go-go dancer, a mother and a queer icon. A child of suburban 1950s Maryland, she made her name first as an actress in the films of John Waters, and then as an art critic and columnist, a writer of hilarious stories and a maven of New York’s downtown art world. Edgewise tells the story of Cookie’s life through an oral history composed of more than 80 interviews with the people who knew her, including John Waters, Mink Stole, Gary Indiana, Sharon Niesp, Max Mueller, Linda Yablonsky, Richard Hell, Amos Poe and Raymond Foye. The contributors take us from the late-1960s artist communes of Baltimore to 1970s Provincetown and New York, through 1980s Berlin and Positano. Along with the text, Edgewise includes artwork, unpublished photographs and archival material and photography by Philip-Lorca diCorcia, David Armstrong, Robert Mapplethorpe, Peter Hujar and others.
Cooper Canyon Press is releasing The New Testament, the second poetry collection from American Book Award winning poet Jericho Brown.
About the book:
In the world of Jericho Brown’s second book, disease runs through the body, violence runs through the neighborhood, memories run through the mind, trauma runs through generations. Almost eerily quiet in even the bluntest of poems, Brown gives us the ache of a throat that has yet to say the hardest thing—and the truth is coming on fast.
As always, if we missed an author or book, or if you have a book coming out next month, please email us.
ART BOOKS/GRAPHIC NOVELS