23 Highly Anticipated* Books of 2011
Author: Antonio Gonzalez Cerna
February 9, 2011
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.
|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?
|INSIDE THE MONEY MACHINE
by Minnie Bruce Pratt
Carolina Wren Press
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.
|BIG SEX LITTLE DEATH
by Susie Bright
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.”
A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering
by Meredith Baxter
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.
Portraits from My Past
by Felice Picano
Chelsea Station Editions
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.”
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.
|WHAT YOU SEE IN THE DARK
by Manuel Muñoz
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
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.
|RED DUST ROAD
An Autobiographical Journey
by Jackie Kay
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.
|DONOVAN’S BIG DAY
Leslea Newman and illustrated by Mike Dutton
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.
|FASTING FOR RAMADAN
by Kazim Ali
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.
C. Dale Young
Four Way Books
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.
|A QUEER HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES
by Michael Bronski
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.'”
The Life and Legacy of Vito Russo
by Michael Schiavi
University of Wisconsin Press
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.”
|THE BURNING HOUSE
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.
A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays
(Beinecke Rare Book Manuscript)
by Gertrude Stein, Giselle Potter, and T.G. Young
Yale University Press
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.
|A FAST LIFE
The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos
by Tim Dlugos
edited by David Trinidad
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.
New Queer Latino Writing
Edited by Lazaro Lima and Felice Picano
University of Wisconsin Press
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.
by Rahul Mehta
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.
|REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS I FORGOT
by Bob Smith
University of Wisconsin Press/Terrace Books
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:
Fall & Winter 2011
New and Selected Poems
by David Trinidad
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.
|WE THE ANIMALS
by Justin Torres
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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?
|THE STRANGER’S CHILD
by Alan Hollinghurst
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.”
by Carol Guess
Black Lawrence Press
Two-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, Carol Guess, has a new collection from the highly-esteemed Black Lawrence Press. Details forthcoming.