August’s Most Anticipated LGBTQ Books
Author: Sarah Donnelly
August 1, 2020
Recently, and while compiling this list of forthcoming LGBTQ books, I’ve found myself struck again and again by the realization that the rest of the world doesn’t stop during moments of historical significance. When we talk about history in textbooks it is often as discrete events, cordoned off from both each other and the rest of the universe, but that isn’t how that works. The COVID-19 pandemic rages on. Across the country, people protest for racial justice. And, too, people make art. People publish books. These things are not in contradiction.
The summer is approaching its end, and another set of amazing LGBTQ literature is upon us. There is, I think, still time in the day to appreciate them.
So let us momentarily rejoice, because this month sees an abundance of challenging and inspiring new books from some of our must beloved LGBTQ authors. This August, Edmund White, Ali Smith, Eduardo C. Corral, Bill Hayes, Peter Cameron, Sarah M. Sala, and francine j. harris are all releasing books! Take a deep breath and check out more of this month’s publishing highlights below.
In their new book The Death of Vivek Oji, Akwaeke Emezi explores familial relationships, friendship, and loss.
From the publisher:
One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious.
Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.
In the new short story collection If I Had Two Wings, author Randall Keenan mixes playfulness with pathos to create deeply felt tales of humanity.
In Kenan’s fictional territory of Tims Creek, North Carolina, an old man rages in his nursing home, a parson beats up an adulterer, a rich man is haunted by a hog, and an elderly woman turns unwitting miracle worker. A retired plumber travels to Manhattan, where Billy Idol sweeps him into his entourage. An architect who lost his famous lover to AIDS reconnects with a high-school fling. Howard Hughes seeks out the woman who once cooked him butter beans.
Shot through with humor and seasoned by inventiveness and maturity, Kenan riffs on appetites of all kinds, on the eerie persistence of history, and on unstoppable lovers and unexpected salvations. ‘If I Had Two Wings’ is a rich chorus of voices and visions, dreams and prophecies, marked by physicality and spirit.
Artist Bishakh Som illuminates her own personal narrative in Spellbound: A Graphic Memoir.
This exquisite graphic novel memoir by a transgender artist, explores the concept of identity by inviting the reader to view the author moving through life as she would have us see her, that is, as she sees herself. Framed with a candid autobiographical narrative, this book gives us the opportunity to enter into the author’s daily life and explore her thoughts on themes of gender and sexuality, memory and urbanism, love and loss.
And Benjamin Garcia makes a stunning debut with Thrown in the Throat. In a sex-positive incantation that retextures what it is to write a queer life amidst troubled times, Garcia writes boldly of citizenship, family, and Adam Rippon’s butt. Detailing a childhood spent undocumented, one speaker recalls nights when “because we cannot sleep / we dream with open eyes.” Garcia delves with both English and Spanish into how one survives a country’s long love affair with anti-immigrant cruelty. Rendering a family working to the very end to hold each other, he writes the kind of family you both survive and survive with.
Ash Van Otterloo’s Cattywampus is a middle-grade romp about witchcraft and an unexpected friendship.
In the town of Howler’s Hollow, conjuring magic is strictly off-limits. Only nothing makes Delpha McGill’s skin crawl more than rules. So when she finds her family’s secret book of hexes, she’s itching to use it to banish her mama’s money troubles. She just has to keep it quieter than a church mouse — not exactly Delpha’s specialty.
Trouble is, Katybird Hearn is hankering to get her hands on the spell book, too. The daughter of a rival witching family, Katy has reasons of her own for wanting to learn forbidden magic, and she’s not going to let an age-old feud or Delpha’s contrary ways stop her. But their quarrel accidentally unleashes a hex so heinous it resurrects a graveyard full of angry Hearn and McGill ancestors bent on total destruction. If Delpha and Katy want to reverse the spell in time to save everyone in the Hollow from rampaging zombies, they’ll need to mend fences and work together.
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger is a young adult fantasy novel full of magic and mystery.
Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces au are re less charming and should never see the light of day.
Seventeen-year-old Elatsoe (“Ellie” for short) lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect façade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.
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.
- A Saint from Texas by Edmund White, Bloomsbury Publishing
- If I Had Two Wings: Stories by Randall Kenan, W. W. Norton & Company
- Love After Love: A Novel by Ingrid Persaud, One World
- Summer by Ali Smith, Pantheon
- The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi, Riverhead Books
- To The Boys Who Wear Pink by Revan III Badingham, Riley Palanka
- Summer of the Cicadas by Chelsea Catherine, Red Hen Press
- Unbalanced Mercy by J. Warren, Queer Space
- Swimmers in Winter by Faye Guenther, Invisible Publishing
- Rules for Being Dead by Kim Powers, Blair
- What Happens at Night by Peter Cameron, Catapult
- Queerfully and Wonderfully Made: A Guide for LGBTQ+ Christian Teens by Leigh Finke, Beaming Books
- Voices of LGBTQ+: A Conversation Starter for Understanding, Supporting, and Protecting Gay, Bi, Trans, and Queer People by Lynda Wolters, Mascot Books
- Tomboyland: Essays by Melissa Faliveno, Topple Books and Little A
- The Conscious Creative by Kelly Small, House of Anansi Press
- How We Live Now: Scenes From The Pandemic by Bill Hayes, Bloomsbury Publishing
- The Wanting Was a Wilderness: Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and the Art of Memoir by Alden Jones
- Ties That Bind: Love in Fantasy and Science Fiction edited by Francesca T Barbini, Luna Press Publishing
- Fabulosa!: The Story of Polari, Britain’s Secret Gay Language by Paul Baker, Reaktion Books
- How to Stop Homophobic and Biphobic Bullying: A Practical Whole-School Approach by Jonathan Charlesworth, Jessica Kingsely Publishers
- Information Activism: A Queer History of Lesbian Media Technologies by Cait McKinney, Duke University Press Books
- Marriage Equality: From Outlaws to In-Laws by William N. Eskridge Jr. and Christopher R. Riano, Yale University Press
- Ornamental Gentlemen: Literary Antiquarianism and Queerness in British Literature and Culture, 1760-1890 by Michael Robinson, Edinburgh University Press
- Sexual Hegemony: Statecraft, Sodomy, and Capital in the Rise of the World System by Christopher Chitty, Duke University Press Books
- Sweet Tea: A Play by E. Patrick Johnson, Northwestern University Press
- Transgender Intimate Partner Violence: A Comprehensive Introduction by Adam M. Messinger and Xavier L. Guadalupe-Diaz
- Spellbound: A Graphic Memoir by Bishakh Som, Street Noise Books
- Born to be Public by Greg Mania, Clash Books
- Leonardo Di Vinci: The Renaissance of the World by Marwan Kahil and Ariel Vittori, NBM Publishing
- Like Crazy: Life with My Mother and Her Invisible Friends by Dan Matthews, Atria Books
- Great Demon Kings: A Memoir of Poetry, Sex, Art, Death and Enlightenment by John Giorno, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
- The Fixed Stars by Molly Wizenberg, Abrams Press
- The Secret of You and Me: A Novel by Melissa Lenhardt, Graydon House
- A Guy Walks Into My Bar by Lauren Blakely, Little Dog Press
- The Enforcer Enigma by Gail Carriger, Indie
- Better Than People by Roan Parrish, Carina Adores
- Hopeless Romantic by Georgia Beers, Bold Strokes Books
- Hopes and Dreams by PJ Trebelhorn, Bold Strokes Books
- Trade Secrets by Kathleen Knowles, Bold Strokes Books
- Sylver and Gold by Michelle Larkin, Bold Strokes Books
- Blades of Bluegrass, D. Jackson Leigh, Bold Strokes Books
- Cowgirl 101 by Laina Villeneuve, Bella Books
- Serenity by Jesse J. Thoma, Bold Strokes Books
- In the Cards by Kimberly Cooper Griffin, Bold Strokes Books
- Following Chance by Baxter Brown, Bella Books
- A Love that Leads to Home by Ronica Black, Bold Strokes Books
- Moon Fever by Ileandra Young, Bold Strokes Books
- The Galactic Pantheon Novellas by Alyce Caswell
- Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran, The O’Brien Press
- Elixir by Charles Atkins, Severn House Publishers
- Fire on the Island by Timothy Jay Smith, Arcade Crimewise
- The Lavender House Murder (Reissue) by Nikki Baker, Requeered Tales
- Once You Go This Far by Kristen Lepionka, Minotaur Books
- The Seduction by Joanna Briscoe, Bloomsbury Publishing
- Where the Boys Are by Christopher Murphy, Christopher Murphy Books
- Augur of Shadows by Jacob Rundle, Three Furies Press LLC
- The Century’s Scribe by Brendan Walsh, Black Rose Writing
- The Deep by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes, Gallery / Saga Press
- Devil Within by Stephanie Phillips (Author), Maan House, Dee Cunniffe & Tula Lotay (Artists), Black Mask Comics
- Drowned Country by Emily Tesh, Tor.com
- The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis, Skybound Books
- Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, Tor.com
- The Hereafter Bytes by Vincent Scott, Thinking Ink Press
- The Memory of Souls by Jenn Lyons, Tor Books
- Poison in the Blood by Katy L Wood, Katy Lynn Wood
- Quake City by St John Karp, Bold Strokes Books
- Queensdaughter by Amanda Ylva, Amanda Bunch
- The Rose of Versailles Volume 3 by Riyoko Ikeda, Udon Entertainment
- The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson, Del Rey
- Stellar Eclipse: Dark Lightning by Avalon Roselin, Roselin Productions
- The Tyrant Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson, Tor Books
- The Vanished Queen by Lisbeth Campbell, Gallery / Saga Press
- What Makes a Witch by Linnea Capps, Weasel Press
- Wyldingwode by J Tullos Hennig, Forest Path Books
Young Adult and Children’s Literature
- Cattywampus by Ash Van Otterloo, Scholastic Press
- Cherrington Academy by Rebecca J. Caffery, Srl Publishing Ltd
- Court of Lions: A Mirage Novel by Somaiya Daud, Flatiron Books
- Cute Mutants Vol 1: Mutant Pride by SJ Whitby, Indie
- Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram, Dial Books
- The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska, Sourcebooks Fire
- Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger (Author), Rovina Cai (Illustrator), Levine Querido
- I’m Not a Girl: A Transgender Story by Maddox Lyons & Jessica Verdi (Authors), Dana Simpson (Illustrator), Roaring Brook Press
- Ironspark by C.M. McGuire, Swoon Reads
- Prelude for Lost Souls by Helene Dunbar, Sourcebooks Fire
- Second Dad Summer by Benjamin Klas (Author), Fian Arroyo (Illustrator), One ELM Books
- She’s My Dad! by Sarah Savage (Author), Joules Garcia (Illustrator), Jessica Kingsley Publishers
- 22 Lunes by Caleb Nichols, Unsolicited Press
- Devil’s Lake by Sarah M. Sala, Tolsun Books
- Guillotine: Poems by Eduardo C. Corral, Graywolf Press
- RENDANG by Will Harris, Wesleyan University Press
- : once teeth bones coral : by Kimberly Aldilio, Belladonna
- Here is the Sweet Hand by francine j. harris, Farrar Straus and Giroux
- Hood Criatura by féi hernandez, Sundress Publications
- Sick by Jody Chan, Black Lawrence Press
- Thrown in the Throat by Benjamin Garcia, Milkweed Press
Purchase more LGBTQ books on Bookshop
Check out July’s LGBTQ books here.
Check out June’s LGBTQ books here.