New Month! New books! April is upon us and so are a slew of new and noteworthy LGBT books.
Beloved author Tom Spanbauer’s new book (his first in seven years), I Loved You More, is being released this month by Hawthorne Press. The book maps the emotional minefield of love and friendship between a group of writers.
Lambda Literary Foundation Launches Crowd-Sourcing Campaign
Has a book ever saved your life?
Perhaps a book has changed the way you think about your sexual or gender identity. Or helped you through that rough patch, when you just weren’t sure you could own up to being a queer artist. Maybe reading an LGBTQI novel blew your mind and expanded your horizons. Did Huck Finn mean something totally different to you than he did to your classmates? Did Dancer From the Dance give you the courage to write about your first kiss? Has a piece of literature ever meant so much to you that it eased the pain of living and working outside the “mainstream,” in a world where not only our books but our lives are shelved separately from everyone else’s?
Lambda Literary Foundation’s 2014 “What LGBT Book Saved Your Life?” Campaign – Sarah Fonseca
Please join our crowd-sourced campaign to collect brief videos or photographs that spread the word about inspirational books, poems, graphic novels, or other life-changing pieces of literature with the world. Contributions will become part of the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards celebration and help build up our social media efforts to increase the visibility of queer writing both within and outside our community.
If you’d like to participate, please:
- Join https://www.facebook.com/
- Tweet a vine, a video, a 140-character rant, or a photo using the hashtag#abooksavedmylife and share it with @LambdaLiterary or http://www.facebook.com/
LambdaLiterary. See samples on the Facebook page.
- Write to email@example.com for more information.
Books are as important as they’ve ever been. Help us spread the word.
New Month! New books! March is upon us and so are a slew of new and noteworthy LGBT books.
Historian Martin Duberman’s new book, Hold Tight Gently: Michael Callen, Essex Hemphill, and the Battlefield of AIDS, is being released this month by The New Press. The book serves as both a biography of two vital and beloved gay cultural figures, Michael Callen and Essex Hemphill, and as an astute snapshot of the early years of the AIDS epidemic. (more…)
The Rainbow Book Fair is the most exciting LGBT book events in the U.S. The 5th Annual New York Rainbow Book Fair featured more than 100 publishers, writers, poets, editors, booksellers, and the 1,000+ readers who love and buy their books—from the serious to the wild, from the zany to the super hot. The Rainbow Book Fair is open to the public with book discounts and giveaways. $3 Admission suggested donation.
Click here for more information.
New Month! New books! February is upon us and so are a slew of new and noteworthy LGBT books.
Novelist Rabih Alameddine’s long-awaited new novel, An Unnecessary Woman, is being released this month by Grove Atlantic. The novel is a stunning character portrait, an astute snapshot of contemporary Beirut, and a lyrical testament to the power of literature.
From Grove Atlantic:
One of the Middle East’s most celebrated voices, Rabih Alameddine follows his bestseller, The Hakawati, with a heartrending novel that celebrates the singular life of an obsessive introvert, revealing Beirut’s beauties and horrors along the way.
Aaliya Sohbi lives alone in her Beirut apartment, surrounded by stockpiles of books. Godless, fatherless, childless, and divorced, Aaliya is her family’s “unnecessary appendage.” Every year, she translates a new favorite book into Arabic, then stows it away. The thirty-seven books that Aaliya has translated over her lifetime have never been read—by anyone. After overhearing her neighbors, “the three witches,” discussing her too-white hair, Aaliya accidentally dyes her hair too blue.
In this breathtaking portrait of a reclusive woman’s late-life crisis, readers follow Aaliya’s digressive mind as it ricochets across visions of past and present Beirut. Colorful musings on literature, philosophy, and art are invaded by memories of the Lebanese Civil War and Aaliya’s own volatile past. As she tries to overcome her aging body and spontaneous emotional upwellings, Aaliya is faced with an unthinkable disaster that threatens to shatter the little life she has left.
The personal, political, and spiritual collide in a new memoir by writer Michelle Theall. In Teaching the Cat: A Memoir (Gallery Books), Theall grapples with the conflicting strains of family, religion, and self-determination.
From the publisher:
Even when society, friends, the legal system, and the Pope himself swing toward acceptance of the once unacceptable, Michelle Theall still waits for the one blessing that has always mattered to her the most: her mother’s. Michelle grew up in the conservative Texas Bible Belt, bullied by her classmates and abandoned by her evangelical best friend before she’d ever even held a girl’s hand. She was often at odds with her volatile, overly dramatic, and depressed mother, who had strict ideas about how girls should act. Yet they both clung tightly to their devout Catholic faith—the unifying grace that all but shattered their relationship when Michelle finally admitted she was gay.
Years later at age forty-two, Michelle has made delicate peace with her mother and is living her life openly with her partner of ten years and their adopted son in the liberal haven of Boulder, Colorado. But when her four-year-old’s Catholic school decides to expel all children of gay parents, Michelle tiptoes into a controversy that exposes her to long-buried shame, which leads to a public battle with the Church and a private one with her parents. In the end she realizes that in order to be a good mother, she may have to be a bad daughter.
Beloved author Edmund White regales readers with stories from his years spent in the “City of Light” in his latest memoir, Inside a Pearl: My Paris Years (Bloomsbury). With wit and pathos,White skillfully unpacks his years spent in Paris during the early 80s.
From the publisher:
Edmund White was forty-three years old when he moved to Paris in 1983. He spoke no French and knew just two people in the entire city, but soon discovered the anxieties and pleasures of mastering a new culture. White fell passionately in love with Paris, its beauty in the half-light and eternal mists; its serenity compared with the New York he had known.
Intoxicated and intellectually stimulated by its culture, he became the definitive biographer of Jean Genet, wrote lives of Marcel Proust and Arthur Rimbaud, and became a recipient of the French Order of Arts and Letters. Frequent trips across the Channel to literary parties in London begot friendships with Julian Barnes, Alan Hollinghurst, Martin Amis and many others. When he left, fifteen years later, to return to the US, he was fluent enough to broadcast on French radio and TV, and as a journalist had made the acquaintance of everyone from Yves St Laurent to Catherine Deneuve to Michel Foucault. He’d also developed a close friendship with an older woman, Marie-Claude, through whom he’d come to a deeper understanding of French life.
Inside a Pearl vividly recalls those fertile years, and offers a brilliant examination of a city and a culture eternally imbued with an aura of enchantment.
This month, writer and activist Janet Mock revisits her past and her road to self-actualization in the new memoir Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More (Atria).
In 2011, Marie Claire magazine published a profile of Janet Mock in which she stepped forward for the first time as a trans woman. Those twenty-three hundred words were life-altering for the People.com editor, turning her into an influential and outspoken public figure and a desperately needed voice for an often voiceless community. In these pages, she offers a bold and inspiring perspective on being young, multicultural, economically challenged, and transgender in America.
Welcomed into the world as her parents’ firstborn son, Mock decided early on that she would be her own person—no matter what. She struggled as the smart, determined child in a deeply loving yet ill-equipped family that lacked the money, education, and resources necessary to help her thrive. Mock navigated her way through her teen years without parental guidance, but luckily, with the support of a few close friends and mentors, she emerged much stronger, ready to take on—and maybe even change—the world.
In the new collection The Queer Caribbean Speaks: Interviews with Writers, Artists, and Activists (Palgrave Macmillan), scholar Kofi Omoniyi Sylvanus Campbell spotlights the often unexplored queer life in the Caribbean.
This book is born out of the near-silence surrounding the lives of queer Caribbean citizens and collects interviews with writers, activists, and citizens to challenge the dominance of Euro-American theories in understanding global queerness. These interviews gives voice to those who live and work on the front lines of the battle for the recognition of LGBT rights in the region, with the hope that their voices will bring wider awareness of, and shed light on, the problems faced by LGBT Caribbean citizens.
As always, if we missed an author or book, or if you have a book coming out next month, please email us.
- …and we danced by Hal Grego, CreateSpace
- Academic Affairs: A Love Story by William G. Tierney, Dog Ear Publishing
- Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World by Janet E. Cameron, Hachette Books Ireland
- The Dragon by Terry O’Reilly, CreateSpace
- Lord Dismiss Us by Michael Campbell and Dennis Drabelle, Valancourt Books
- The Music Teacher by Bob Sennett, Lethe Press
- My Life as a Scream Queen by D. Daniel Brian, CreateSpace
- Naming Ceremony by Chip Livingston, Lethe Press
- Red Caps: New Fairy Tales for Out of the Ordinary Readers by Steve Berman, Lethe Press
- The Story Thief by Shari McNally, Bella Books
- An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine, Grove/Atlantic
- Where the Heart Chooses by Tinnean, CreateSpace
- Cured by Nathlia Holt, Dutton
- Partners In Passion: A Guide to Great Sex, Emotional Intimacy and Long-term Love by Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson, Cleis Press
- Man’s Search for Meaning (Reprint) by Victor E. Frankl, Beacon Press
- The Queer Caribbean Speaks: Interviews with Writers, Artists, and Activists edited by Kofi Omoniyi Sylvanus Campbell, Palgrave Macmillan
- Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community (Reprint) by Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy, Routledge
- Derrida and Queer Theory by Michael O’Rourke, Palgrave Macmillan
- Of Sexual Irregularities, and Other Writings on Sexual Morality (Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham) edited by Philip Schofield, Catherine Pease-Watki, and Michael Quinn, Oxford Press
- Tough Love: Sexuality, Compassion, and the Christian Right (SUNY series in Queer Politics and Cultures) by Cynthia Burack, State University of New York Press
- What’s Queer about Europe?: Productive Encounters and Re-enchanting Paradigms by Mireille Rosello and Sudeep Dasgupta, Fordham University Press
- Absolution by S. Anne Gardner, Affinity
- Best Lesbian Romance 2014 edited by Radclyffe, Cleis Press
- The Blush Factor by Gun Brooke, Bold Strokes Books
- for Keeps (Men of Honor) by SE Jakes, Samhain Publishing
- Cub by Jeff Mann, Bear Bones Books
- Cadence of My Heart by Keira Michelle Telford, Venatic Press
- Daughter of Mystery (Novel of Alpennia) by Heather Rose Jones, Bella Books
- Family Issue by Nat Burns, Bella Books
- For the Sake of Happiness by Mel Thorn, Thorn Books
- It’s All Geek to Me by JL Merrow, Riptide Publishing
- Starring Role (Gin & Jazz) (Volume 4) by Morticia Knight, Totally Bound Publishing
- Stronger Than This by David-Matthew Barnes, Bold Strokes Books
- The Real Story by RJ Layer, Bella Books
- Taming the Bander by Summer Devon, Samhain Publishing
- Tumbledown by Cari Hunter, Bold Strokes Books
- Turnbull House by Jess Faraday, Bold Strokes Books
- Wide Asleep (Tales from Ballena Beach) by Nick Nolan, Lake Union Publishing
- Wingspan by Karis Walsh, Bold Strokes Books
- Blowing Off Class: Gay College Erotica edited by by Winston Gieseke, Bruno Gmunder Verlag Gmbh
- Payoff by Aleksandr Voinov and LA Witt, Riptide Publishing
- Pink Lips and Other Stories for Girls Only by Elisabeth Anne Ryder, Fanny Press
- Secret Desire: A Foot Out the Closet by Hank Brooks, BLVNP Incorporated
- Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones, Bella Books
- The Consequence of Murder by Nene Adams, Bella Books
- A Matter of Degrees by Alex Marcoux, Bella Books
- King of Dublin by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau, Riptide Publishing
- Lichii Ba’Ch by D Jordan Redhawk, Bella Books
- Strain by Amelia C. Gormley, Riptide Publishing
- Triane’s Son Learning by Amy Lane, Harmony Ink
- A Wizard’s Touch: Volume One by Amber Kell, Totally Bound Publishing
- After Life (The Gemini & Flowers Mysteries) by Jonathan Gregory, CreateSpace
- Cobalt: Valentine & Lovelace #2 by Nathan Aldyne, Felony & Mayhem
- Serpent’s Tongue (A Dick Hardesty Mystery) (Volume 15) by Dorien Grey, Zumaya Boundless
- Death Came Calling by Donald Webb, Bold Strokes Books
- Dirty Deeds by SE Jakes, Riptide Press
- Love in the Shadows by Dylan Madrid, Bold Strokes Books
- Slash and Burn by Valerie Bronwen, Bold Strokes Books
- Snapped by G.A. Hauser, CreateSpace
- Falling into Place: An Intimate Geography of Home by Catherine Reid, Beacon Press
- Firelight of a Different Colour: The Life and Times of Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing by Nigel Collett, Signal 8 Press
- Hidden: The Intimate Lives of Gay Men Past and Present by Clinton Elliott, AuthorHouse
- Inside a Pearl: My Paris Years by Edmund White, Bloomsbury
- The Marriage Act: The Risk I Took to Keep My Best Friend in America, and What It Taught Us About Love by Liza Monroy, Soft Skull Press
- Magnus Hirschfeld: The Origins of the Gay Liberation Movement by Ralf Does, Monthly Review Press
- Pink Triangle: The Feuds and Private Lives of Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, and Famous Members of Their Entourages by Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince, Blood Moon Productions
- Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock, Atria
- They Call Me a Hero: A Memoir of My Youth by Daniel Hernandez, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
- The Tooth Fairy: A Memoir by Clifford Chase, Overlook
- Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful? by Kenneth M. Walsh, Magnus/Riverdale
- The Earth Avails by Mark Wunderlich, Graywolf Press
- From the Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes by B.C. Edwards, Black Lawrence Press
- Idle Worship edited by Amanda James, CreateSpace
- Boy of the West End by Zack, Bruno Gmunder Verlag Gmbh
- On Loving Woman by Diane Obomsawin, Drawn and Quarterly
In The News
The Science of Writing a Hit Book
On January 8, Inside Science reported that computer scientists at Stony Brook University had designed an algorithm allowing them to determine what makes a novel a success. The results are eerily precise. Among the traits most likely to make a book well reviewed and widely read are an unadorned, journalistic style; higher numbers of nouns and adjectives; and lower numbers of adverbs and verbs.
Thankfully, literature is not a science. Yet the writing and selling of literature increasingly is. Thanks to a proliferation of analytics, it’s easier than ever for publishers to track, graph, and therefore do their desperate best to predict market trends. Judged on that cold scale of downloaded units, Mein Kampf—which has come roaring back recently thanks to a high volume of e-book sales—might now be considered a good book.
I won’t go so far as to say that reducing the richness of books to ones and zeroes, and then judging them on such a scale, is tantamount to literary eugenics. But it does raise a question about what it means for a book to be formulaic, and whether that’s a good or bad thing. Or whether those kinds of questions even mean anything anymore.
2014 Book Preview
In Next Magazine, writer and Lambda Literary Poetry Editor Jameson Fitzpatrick offers a preview of 2014′s most anticipated gay titles.
Portland Fun and Games
When in doubt, put a bird on it. Next month, McSweeny’s is releasing The Portlandia Activity Book, a companion piece to the popular television IFC television show Portlandia. The book, written by Carrie Brownstein, Fred Armisen and Johnathan Krisel, provides fun-filled activities for the whole hipster family.
From the publisher:
This is The Portlandia Activity Book—a compendium of guaranteed enrichment for the Pacific Northwestern part of your psyche. Like a cool high school that prefers a sweat lodge to the traditional classroom, this book will expand your mind through participation, dehydrate you to a state of emotional rawness, then linger in the corners your bare soul.
Here you will find enough activities to get you through a year’s worth of rainy days, including: How to Crowdfund Your Baby, Punk Paint By Numbers, Terrarium Foraging, and so much more. With pages unlike any you’ve seen before, this is the kind of book that you can be yourself around. Shed the trappings of normalcy, let down your glorious mane, and take the deepest breath of your life. Portlandia is beckoning your arrival.
In Slate this week, Rosie Schaap provides an in-depth look at The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking, a new book by Olivia Laing. The book explores how extreme alcohol consumption affected a series of famous authors and playwrights, including Tennessee Williams and John Cheever.
The Brokeback Opera
The Advocate recently interviewed author Annie Proulx, who is currently adapting her famed gay love story “Brokeback Mountain” into an opera.
New in January: Armistead Maupin, Melissa Pritchard, Sean Strub, Charles Stephens, Steven G. Fullwood, and Amy Villarejo
New year! New books! January is upon us and so are a slew of new and noteworthy LGBT books.
December is upon us and so are a slew of new and noteworthy LGBT books.
November is upon us and so are a slew of new and noteworthy LGBT books.