Most Anticipated LGBTQ Books of May 2020
Author: Marrion Johnson
May 7, 2020
We’re nearly two months into quarantine and most of us are itching for a change. After binging all of the Netflix one can possibly manage, continually signing in to an endless list of virtual calls and happy hours and exercise classes, I speak for myself, and perhaps a few others, when I say it is time for something different. And even though I haven’t read nearly half of the books on my shelves, I’m still eager for that new new. I’m talking about those new stories that our favorite, unfamiliar, and even emerging writers have been working, sweating, and shedding tears over for years. The newly released books that we can cozy up to, inside the comforts of our own homes of course, and lose ourselves in the pages of their imagination.
If this is you, and you’ve been eagerly anticipating the new work of a few dynamic LGBTQ writers, well then you’re in luck. For this month of May, we have got some exciting new releases to share, starting with All My Mother’s Lovers: A Novel by Ilana Masad. Masad, who is a 2017 Lambda Literary fellow, is undoubtedly on the verge of phenomenal success as her novel is one of the most anticipated new releases of the year.
It tells the story of a mourning daughter determined to reconnect with her deceased mother by visiting the important men from her mother’s life.
From the publisher:
Intimacy has always eluded twenty-seven-year-old Maggie Krause—despite being brought up by married parents, models of domestic bliss—until, that is, Lucia came into her life. But when Maggie’s mom, Iris, dies in a car crash, Maggie returns home only to discover a withdrawn dad, an angry brother, and, along with Iris’s will, five sealed envelopes, each addressed to a mysterious man she’s never heard of. In an effort to run from her own grief and discover the truth about Iris—who made no secret of her discomfort with her daughter’s sexuality—Maggie embarks on a road trip, determined to hand-deliver the letters and find out what these men meant to her mother. Maggie quickly discovers Iris’s second, hidden life, which shatters everything Maggie thought she knew about her parents’ perfect relationship. What is she supposed to tell her father and brother? And how can she deal with her own relationship when her whole world is in freefall?
Next up is Officer Clemmons: A Memoir by François Clemmons which tells a queer story behind the magic of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the groundbreaking television series that introduced children’s TV to its first Black character… a man who in real life just so happened to be gay.
From the publisher:
‘Officer Clemmons’ details Clemmons’s incredible life story, beginning with his early years in Alabama and Ohio, marked by family trauma and loss, through his studies as a music major at Oberlin College, where Clemmons began to investigate and embrace his homosexuality, to a chance encounter with Fred Rogers that changed the whole course of both men’s lives, leading to a deep, spiritual friendship and mentorship spanning nearly forty years.
We hope you’re ready for an education on same-sex relationships in the south because that’s what you’re going to learn and more from John F. Marszalek III’s Coming Out of the Magnolia Closet: Same-Sex Couples in Mississippi. Inside, John unpacks his own experiences and digs into how these southern couples’ relationships and experiences compare to those of same-sex couples in other areas and times.
From the publisher:
‘Coming Out of the Magnolia Closet: Same-Sex Couples in Mississippi’ shares conversations with same-sex couples living in small-town and rural Mississippi. In the first book of its kind to focus on Mississippi, couples tell their stories of how they met and fell in love, their decisions on whether or not to marry, and their experiences as sexual minorities with their neighbors, families, and churches. Their stories illuminate a complicated relationship between many same-sex couples and their communities, influenced by southern culture, religion, and family norms.
Set in 1986, a year after Rock Hudson’s death brought the news of AIDS into living rooms and kitchens across America, Lambda Literary award-winning author Carter Sickels’ second novel, The Prettiest Star, shines light on an overlooked part of the epidemic, those men who returned to the rural communities and families who’d rejected them.
From the publisher:
Six short years after Brian Jackson moved to New York City in search of freedom and acceptance, AIDS has claimed his lover, his friends, and his future. With nothing left in New York but memories of death, Brian decides to write his mother a letter asking to come back to the place, and family, he was once so desperate to escape. ‘The Prettiest Star’ is told in a chorus of voices: Brian’s mother Sharon; his fourteen-year-old sister, Jess, as she grapples with her brother’s mysterious return; and the video diaries Brian makes to document his final summer.
And we just had to make some space for the kiddies and uplift this new gem, The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish by Lil Miss Hot Mess and Olga de Dios, which introduces youth, in a friendly and exciting way to the wonder that is the world of drag!
From the publisher:
‘The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish’ encourages readers to boldly be exactly who they are. Written by a founding member of the nationally recognized Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH), this playful picture book offers a quirky twist on a classic nursery rhyme by illustrating all of the ways to “work it”. The story plays off “The Wheels on the Bus” as it follows a drag queen who performs her routine in front of an awestruck audience. A fun frenzy of fierceness, this book will appeal to readers of all ages.
And as always, if our list of LGBTQ releases missed an author or book, or if you have a book coming out next month, please email us.
- All My Mother’s Lovers: A Novel by Ilana Masad, Dutton
- Amora: Stories by Natalia Borges Polesso, Amazon Crossing
- Boys of Alabama: A Novel by Genevieve Hudson, Liveright
- Exile Music: A Novel by Jennifer Steil, Viking
- Swimmers in Winter by Faye Guenther, Invisible Publishing
- The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels, Hub City Press
- The Story So Far by Jane Eklund, Bauhan Publishing
- This is True Love by Keith Banner, Lethe Press
- Vagablonde by Anna Dorn, The Unnamed Press
- Vanishing Monuments by John Elizabeth Stintzi, Arsenal Pulp Press
- We Had No Rules by Corrine Manning, Arsenal Pulp Press
- Bodies and Barriers: Queer Activist and Health edited by Adrian Shanker, PM Press
- Figure it Out by Wayne Kostenbaum, Soft Skull Press
- Rainbow Revolutionaries: Fifty LGBTQ+ People Who Made History by Sarah Prager (Author), Sarah Papworth (Illustrator), HarperCollins
- Tasty Pride: 75 Recipes and Stories from the Queer Food Community by Jesse Szewczyk, Clarkson Potter
Young Adult and Children’s Literature
- The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta, Balzer + Bray
- Camp by L.C. Rosen, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
- Drawing on Walls: A Story of Keith Haring by Matthew Burgess (Author), Josh Cochran (Illustrator), Enchanted Lion Books
- Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, Balzer + Bray
- The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos, Quill Tree Books
- Heartstopper: Volume 1 by Alice Oseman, Graphix
- The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar, Page Street Kids
- The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish by Lil Miss Hot Mess and Olga de Dios, Running Press Kids
- I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver, Push
- The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Candlewick Press
- The Names We Take by Trace Kerr, Ooligan Press
- The One and Only Dylan St. Claire by Kamen Edwards, Doubleday
- Out Now : Queer We Go Again! edited by Saundra Mitchell, Inkyard Press
- Papa, Daddy, and Riley by Seamus Kirst (Author), Devon Holzwarth (Illustrator), Magination Press
- Rainbow Revolutionaries: Fifty LGBTQ+ People Who Made History by Sarah Prager, HarperCollins
- Stay Gold by Tobly McSmith, HarperTeen
- The Summer of Impossibilities by Rachael Allen, Amulet Books
- The Ship We Built by Lexie Bean, Dail
- Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah S. Brannen, Little Bee books
- Before Trans: Three Gender Stories from Nineteenth-Century France by Rachel Mesch, Stanford University Press
- Coming Out of the Magnolia Closet: Same-Sex Couples in Mississippi by John F. Marszalek III, University Press of Mississippi
- Communities and Place: A Thematic Approach to the Histories of LGBTQ Communities in the United States by Katherine Crawford-Lackey (Editor), Megan E. Springate (Editor), Berghahn Books
- Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique by Sa’ed Atshan, Stanford University Press
- Begin Again by Kat Jackson, Bella Books
- Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin Van Whye, Random House Books for Young Readers
- The Duchess and the Dreamer by Jenny Frame, Bold Strokes Books
- Forging a Desire Line by Mary P. Burns, Bold Strokes Books
- The Girl Next Door by Chelsea Cameron, Carina Adores
- Hard Road Back by Andrew Grey, Dreamspinner
- Love on the Night Shift by Radclyffe, Bold Strokes Books
- Olivia’s Awakening by Ronica Black, Bold Strokes Books
- The Road Home by Erin Zak Bold Strokes Books
- The Rose of Versailles Volume 2 by Riyoko Ikeda, Udon Entertainment
- Slow Pitch by Amy Lane, Dreamspinner Press
- Something to Talk About by Meryl Wislner, Berkley Books
- Starcrossed by Allie Therin, Carina Press
- Waiting for You by Elle Spencer, Bold Strokes Books
- While My Heart Beats by Erin McKenzie, Bold Strokes Books
- Above All Human by Natalie Debrabandere, Amazon
- Reaping the Benefits by E.J. Noyes, Bella Books
- This Coven Won’t Break by Isabel Sterling, Razorbill
- Dying on a Vine by Ann Roberts, Bella Books
- The Boy in the Red Dress by Kristin Lambert, Viking Books
- Everyday People by Louis Barr, Bold Strokes Books
- Be Straight with Me by Emily Dalton, Andrews McMeel Publishing
- The Chiffon Trenches by Andre Leon Talley, Ballantine Books
- The Endless M by Dustin Hendrick, Unsorted Media Group
- Fairest: A Memoir by Meredith Talusan, Viking
- Freddie Mercury: An Illustrated Life by Alfonso Casas and translated by Ned Sublette, University of Texas Press
- Life as a Unicorn: A Journey from Shame to Pride and Everything in Between by Amrou Al-Kadhi, Fourth Estate
- Officer Clemmons: A Memoir by François Clemmons, Catapult
- Pass With Care by Cooper Lee Bombardier, Dottir Press
- Plague Years: A Doctor’s Journey through the AIDS Crisis by Ross A. Slotten MD, University of Chicago Press
- All the Gay Saints by Kayleb Rae Candrilli, Saturnalia Books;
- Bruce Boone Dismembered: Selected Poems, Stories, and Essays by Bruce Bone, Nightboat Books
- After Ruben by Francisco Aragón, Red Hen Press
- Catrachos by Roy G. Guzmán, Graywolf
- Hold Me Tight by Jason Schneiderman, Red Hen Press